Tom Vek is back. After a six-year sabbatical from the limelight, the London-based “beat rock” specialist has reemerged with a new album and a new lease on life. Properly tweaked for the 21st century, his propulsive, chopped up New Wave electronica is laid over sexed up live drums to create the perfect soundtrack for London after midnight. A collision of grit and glamour, Vek is where the chic and the street meet. Think of the music that should have been blaring during the photo shoot for the cover of Roxy Music’s Country Life and you’ll get a feel for the provocative vibes that Vek is creating. It’s too sophisticated and too angular to be pork chop stripper rock, but tracks like “Aroused” have enough groove and mystery to easily inspire gyrations from the bookworms-gone-wild set.
After a half decade spent in the shadows with rumors of alien abduction and kidnapping regularly cropping up to explain his absence, the London native has been everywhere as of late with the release of his sophomore LP Leisure Seizure. Since his return to the stage, audiences, walking funny the next morning, have been left slack-jawed and awed from the slick full band renditions of his bespectacled, home-brewed bangers. The live shows, plus recent collaborations with both Johnny Marr and DJ Shadow (along with a slew of remixes from the likes of Teeth and Teen Dream), have conclusively confirmed that Vek’s trip to Tralfamadore and his lengthy bout of Stockholm Syndrome are now very much in the past.
Along with fellow Brits Metronomy and Spector, Vek is at the forefront of a fresh spread of artists crafting traditionally structured rock songs that are extremely danceable. It’s a good blend. After all, as Tom Vek proves, these are still good times for anyone looking to have a good time.
You should watch part 2 right now.