There’s always been something rather dramatic about music born of the 1980’s, as though an entire generation of bands and artists collectively decided it was time to be ok with being emotional and baring it all. Brooklyn quintet Veda Rays have taken such a concept and run with it, honing a modernized shape of post-punk / shoegaze / darkwave / what have you, and making it their own. Their new EP, Shadow Side, draws from the unabashed sentimentality of the decade when these concepts emerged, and perfects their expression. A certain desperation exists in the drums from the very outset of opener “False Coloured Eyes,” the rhythms driving and pounding as though not only life, but also the ability to love, depended on it. Jason Gates’ impossibly precise fills and Renzo Vous’ moody bass bolster and the highlight the urgency of the rest of the compositions. James Stark and Ganzalo Tomé’s guitars riff back and forth, as sharp and anxious as chefs under stress. They intertwine, vine-like, through the rush of pulse on “Panic Shifts,” and the awe-inspiring anguish of “The Upsidedown Tree.” Maria Joanna Bohemia’s keyboards coat the background in a melting glow, pulling at your heartstrings like saltwater taffy. The instruments burn together like healthy candlefire to highlight Stark’s vocal fortitude, resonating with the fearless abandon of a romantic with nothing to lose. Lyrics bled out in a handsome baritone, the kind of earnest yearning first stumbled upon by the 80’s. This is feelings at their best.
NYC: Veda Rays play Pianos December 5 w/ Young Bugs, Happy Fits, Buddie, and Hong Kong Graffiti.