In the many moons since Brisbane garage-rock behemoth Velociraptor pulled up stumps on the party that many pundits had predicted would never end and dispersed like ninjas into the night, it’s fair to say that the world has pretty much gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket.
After years of waiting in vain for a saviour, and knowing full well that desperate times call for desperate measures, after much contemplation the many, many members of Velociraptor resolved in a nearly-unanimous vote to get the band back together.
Only this time they were uniting not just to party (although there will be parties), but to save the day! Maybe not so much in an MCU kinda way – their budget probably necessitating more of a Bill & Ted vibe – but justice would be served. Cold. But to whom? Once the dust settled and the boffins and science types within the Velociraptor ranks crunched the numbers, analysed the trends and tasted the tea leaves it became abundantly clear that there was only one thing standing in the way of humanity enjoying a blissful, happy future… computers!
Thus was born the second Velociraptor album ‘Computer Future’ – the first since their self-titled album dropped back in 2014 – a collection of songs so excellent that you’d almost be forgiven for thinking that the band had been squirrelled away in isolation working on them the whole time they’ve been gone.
The first taste of this staggering new opus comes in the form of two brand new singles – Leaving Hollywood and Timebong – which both together and in isolation hint towards everything that ‘Computer Future’ brings to the modern day table, the spectre of a technology-ridden dystopian wasteland inspiring two distinctly divergent, but entirely complementary, takes on the garage rock form.
“Leaving Hollywood is the burnout and ensuing existential crisis of trying to pursue any kind of sustainable success in the biz. Written in the aftermath of the last ‘raptor album, and a succinct summary of the reason for the long break from being a proactive musical presence. It was a time of great isolation, financial ruin and lack of self care. But in the end a great catalyst to rebuild, to focus on other aspects of life, and to eventually return – better than ever before? Sonically, maybe. Headspace-wise, definitely.” – Jeremy Neale on Leaving Hollywood
“Timebong is a dark and twisted tale about a young person who finds a bong in 1986 that also happens to be a time machine. When smoked, the Timebong has the ability to send the user into the past or future by way of inputting coordinates on a futuristic numpad embedded in the side of the bong. But where did the Timebong come from? And when one smokes into the past or the future, what becomes of the present?” – Julien James on Timebong
Whilst wildly different both of these new tracks have all the hallmarks of a classic Velociraptor number: stupidly infectious melodies, hooks galore, guitars aplenty plus of course their trademark gang vocals and harmonies. Together they find the glorious duality of Velociraptor on full display, strengthened rather than diminished by the passing of time.
In their halcyon days, Velociraptor were a force to be reckoned with, an amorphous collective sometimes up to 12 members strong – many of them wielding axes of some description – who attacked their live performances like they did their rider, with unbridled glee and genuine gusto.
They toured Europe and the UK, as well as sharing stages with bands the calibre of Black Lips, New York Dolls, OFF!, Radio Birdman and Violent Soho. The unparalleled camaraderie of their renowned live blitzes – plus sheer size of the band – at times threatened to overshadow the genuine strength of their songwriting and recorded output, with triple j and community radio virtually hammering earworm singles like Cynthia, Ramona and Sneakers into submission via repeated spins, such was their hypnotic appeal.
And now the party has started again. Only this time around the shindig is slightly more retrained, some might say semi- professional. The band members are slightly older, presumably wiser and there’s definitely more children hanging around the periphery, but it’s still definitely the sort of gathering you want to be at.
So settle back, relax, grab your timebong if that’s your thang, and get ready to rock – it’s time to go back to the ‘Computer Future’ with the one and only Velociraptor!
With thanks to Coolin’ By Sound