INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK

There must be some kind of musical fertiliser in the water up in Brisbane. The ever-evolving garage-pop hydra Velociraptor have swollen into a monster that’s 15 members strong, and somehow they have managed to squeeze the lot into a weighty 11-track debut album. Barely.

An orchestra of guitars and gang vocals has a propensity to turn into the musical equivalent of multiplayer Mario Kart, but Velociraptor have developed a more sophisticated and structured sensibility compared to their wild, teetering past releases. Songs like ‘The Right To Call You’ and ‘Ramona’ hold true to the band’s trademark raucous timbre, but shifting time signatures and tempos and well-constructed bridges hold the party together. The half-slurred, half-shouted vocals delivering blasО I-don’t-care-but-really-I-do lyrics inevitably lead to you to sing along with a big smile on your face.

Most of the coherent chaos is penned by lead singer Jeremy Neale. Two tracks give respite from his onslaught – ‘All You Need’ and ‘I Don’t Know Why (It’s You)’ – but lacklustre vocals and vague progressions on these fail to provide any interesting alternatives.

Overflowing with energy and talent, as long as it keeps to the beaten path, Velociraptor’s debut album far surpasses what 15 musicians should be capable of doing when they’re all crammed together on one record.

4/5.

Velociraptor is out now through Dot Dash / Remote Control.

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