You could excuse some nervousness on behalf of The Veldt.
The five-track set The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation is the first batch of new material from Raleigh twins Daniel and Danny Chavis under the name in nearly twenty years. In the interim, the music industry has shifted dramatically, so that the structures, celebrities, and even the sounds themselves are no longer the same. In fact, lots of stuff in that span has made The Veldt, whose star never rose to its predicted apogee, sound remarkably prescient. TV on the Radio’s curling mix of gospel and rock and modern hip-hop’s love of dissonant textures and broken beats all seem like arrows shooting from The Veldt’s idiosyncratic atmosphere. What’s more, many of the band’s shoegaze peers have reunited, riding the wave of latent hype cycles to the high-paying top rows of festival posters. You’d be anxious about re-entry, too.
But The Shocking Fuzz is the most assured, at-ease collection of The Veldt’s entire career, with big, stuttering beats and overdriven, swollen textures suggesting a paragon of what you might call “soulgaze.” It’s as if, upon hearing recent approximations of what they once did, the Chavis brothers settled again into their old sound, happy to recharge it.
Opener and lead single “Sanctified” is a high-volume daydream, sheets of guitars shrieking beneath the trunk-rattle zeal of programmer Hayato Nakao. Echoed by singer Marie Cochrane, Daniel sounds like a sensual minister, wonderfully lost somewhere between the realms of R&B and gospel. “One Day Out of Life” is an act of dissonant accretion, with rays of noise gradually building into a deafening roar that swallows Daniel’s forlorn falsetto. But it’s “In a Quiet Room” that sounds the most like what was once future music and what is now incredibly popular. Bright guitars scatter with U2-like delay over a fierce trap beat; an angelic web of vocals crisscrosses through it all, its hook surrounded by arching, close-eyed melismas. It’s profoundly narcotized pop, built for a generation working to legalize weed by a generation that didn’t have the luxury in the first place. Easy way to calm the nerves, at least.