The 10-, 12- or 14-strong conglomeration that is Velociraptor are pop savants. Since they first popped their heads up a few years ago, the band’s various offshoots have been churning out radio-friendly units at an impressive rate, ensuring that brand Velociraptor is within two words of any mention about a new album/tour by a Brisbane band at any given moment.
It’s a consistent stream of credible and quality pop in the classical sense that makes this all sustainable for the band – like a modern-day Tin Pan Alley or Brill Building via the Queenslander sharehouse culture. The band’s debut album – 11 songs at around 30 minutes – is direct. The ?Do-do, eh-eh’s? of opener ?Robocop? are a good indication of which direction they’re aiming for, with catchy choruses and the kind of musicianship that statistics would suggest a band with over a dozen arms would have. It’s the efficiency of each member though that keeps it all within the pop parameters the old Beatle jackets hinted at.
?The Right to Call You? steers towards the more Britpop leanings of the group. It’s Libertines-ish brevity with a breakout solo before ?Hollywood Teen? returns to more sober ground. ?Ramona? is clearly the early standout though. A culmination of what makes the band what they are right now. ?So-ooo’s? and ?I-iii’s? over a multiplied jangle, compounding the formula.
Meanwhile, the drawl on ?All You Need? comes in when it needs to. The vocals don’t have frontman Jeremy Neale’s snap, but they work in giving the album an added dimension before ?Monster Mash? cracks back in with the standard pace, these added dimensions demonstrating the band’s strength in warping simplicity.
Between the simple fuzz riff on ?Leeches? and the repetition of ?It’s ok, it’s ok, I feel it too? on ?One Last Serenade?, Velociraptor pick up on the base essence of a song and run around in circles with it for two to three minutes, managing to keep it interesting. ?I Don’t Know Why? is a Brisbane-River-as-Merseyside mid-tempo snippet, and ?Cool Baby Cool? straight-up jitter pop.
The band settles back on their key strength of cockeyed croon and single-note efficiency for album closer ?Sneakers?. With Neale’s dismissal of ?Whatever, I’m trying,? you know the band are already lining up another dozen or so releases under whatever guise come next.