A flawed but promising album...
Robert Leedham

10:10 6th June 2011

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Hold the front page, Tom Vek is back baby! Back in the way only a post-punk revivalist who hasn’t released an album in just under six years can be. But who cares? He’s only bleedin’ back! So break out the champers, high class broads and Charlie because we’re gonna throw one hell of a launch party for... who was it again?

Oh yes, I remember now, Tom Vek. A bloke who caught the dance-punk movement at its peak in October 2006 with a solid if unremarkable album and then buggered off into the indie wilderness again. Presumably he met some of The Bravery there, I wonder if they still manage to dine out on ‘An Honest Mistake’ six years on. Anyway, back to Mr Thomas Vek. ‘Leisure Seizure’ has obviously taken a while to make it into all good record stores, and HMV, which begs the question of whether it was worth the wait?

This is a remarkably silly question as it implies the amount of time spent on an album has any bearing on its actual quality. The real question of pertinence is whether we’re happy to have Tommy boy back in the fold again? Judging by the juddering afrobeat of ‘Aroused’, the answer to this question is, “Almost certainly yes!” Judging by the humdrum Korg-built bustle of ‘Hold Your Head’ that precedes it however, the answer is “I guess so.”

Trouble is for every glistening gem of chopped up synth and punchy drums ‘Leisure Seizure’ has to offer, ‘A.P.O.L.O.G.Y.’ and ‘Someone Loves You’ are particularly lush in this regard, there’s a stodgy, po-faced offering to sit alongside it in the shape of ‘Too Bad’. Part of the problem, oh all right basically all of it, is that Vek sings in the same monotone drawl for the entirety of the LP. This works okay when there’s some dizzy electronic splurges kicking off behind him, as with ‘On A Plate’, but it drags the whole record down a notch when plied with more straight-laced fare.

To top matters off, the record is no great departure from his self-titled debut which, and I don’t know if I already mentioned this, came out in the heady days of 2006. So in summary, Tom Vek has returned with a flawed but promising album which bodes well for his third effort with a release date currently pencilled in for the summer 2017.

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