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Bad Veins, Two Men Making Lovely Noise

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 7, 2009 4:20PM

2009_10_bad_veins.jpg First of all, let's just get this out of the way at the very top; Bad Veins sound a LOT like The Killers before that band went and embraced their Las Vegas roots to a ridiculous extent. Bad Veins singer Benjamin Davis bears a striking vocal resemblance to Brandon Flowers -- had Flowers ever taken vocal lessons and gained more control and range -- and the music he creates with drummer and musical partner Sebastien Schultz has that same expansive, epic feel that is catchy instead of monolithic. So there, that's done. Now that's out of the way, let's center on just how awesome these guys are.

The duo's self-titled debut opens with the building martial beat of "Found" that dissipates into a luscious layer of strings and horns, fooling the listener into thinking they can ease in for an easy listening experience, giving the impression that throwing on some high-end headphones and melting into the couch is an option. The swooping synths that open the next song "Gold And Warm" do little to dispel that notion ... until the disco drums kick in and sweep us into a chorus carried on triumphant shoulders. And then the album really kicks in, offering a mixture of danceable pop, surging anthems, cryptic lyrics, and bold entreaties. What holds this all together is the group's attention to detail -- a plinking guitar string at just the right accent point here, and subtle point of indrawn breath there -- which creates an album that's a pleasure whether it's crawling into ones headphones or pounding out of a massive set of speakers.

The group will be performing its songs at The Empty Bottle tomorrow as a duo with the aid of a reel-to-reel tape player named Irene. No, we're not kidding, and it's pretty awesome to see them pull the whole thing off.

For more on Bad veins, read their interview with Gothamist from earlier this year.

Bad Veins play tomorrow, October 8, with The Subjects and Village at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 9:30 p.m., $8 ($3 advance), 21+