Velcro Mary
"Attack and Decay"

(Self-Released 2002)Velcro Mary - Attack and Decay

Question: What do you listen to when you want to listen to slacker rock and dance music at the same time? Answer: "Attack and Decay," the fifth full-length album from Velcro Mary. Whether you are a classic rock fan, electro/hip hop fan, alternative rock fan, or just a fan of music in general doesn't matter. Each track on the album provides listeners of all genres with something different, yet still strangely familiar. This is not to say that the album doesn't maintain a consistent sound. It does. Only at a few times does "Attack and Decay" fail to sound like a continuous album, particularly when returning from instrumental tracks.

"Attack and Decay" opens with a haunting instrumental piece that uses sparse, echoing single keyboard notes ala Kraftwerk's "Man Machine." Unfortunately, the instrumental does little to properly introduce the album, as the next track, "In Ohia," is a ballad of lost love with a laid-back yet chunky guitar soundtrack. This is the first junction at which the album feels disjointed. Most of the songs on the album have a slower rock pace, slightly on the depressing side with distorted, lazy guitars throughout, such as on "Hit Like a Girl" and "Something in My Eye." There are some faster songs which particularly rock, such as "John Candy Can't Sing" and "Flight Risk," the former rocking in a dance music way, the latter rocking in a Jon Spencer sort of way.

"Attack and Decay" possesses a great sense of humor throughout, from the song titles to the witty song lyrics. Lyrics such as "Trans Am vs. a Corvette/ready to repeat nonsense," from the song "Stupid," and "C'mon John, you know you can sing," from "John Candy Can't Sing," particularly stand out. Additionally, the instrumentation throughout the record is done tastefully: guitars are used without being over used, the drum programming is creative yet not too ambitious, and any synthesizer parts add rather than detract from the songs. The singing is a style that has been repeated by others, sounding like Kurt Cobain at times, but it is the singer's real voice -- there is nothing forced about it. All that really detracts from this otherwise cohesive album is the instrumental tracks. The rest is there, the songwriting, the playing, and the production. While not exactly groundbreaking, Velcro Mary is not following current trends. Familiar sounds are used, yes, but they are put together in unfamiliar ways. Think of Velcro Mary as your Flaming Lips next