Listening to Brighton’s Theo Verney often sounds like hearing all your favorite bands at once. Thats certainly true on hearing ‘Sound Machine’, his follow up to the brutal yet melodic Heavy Sunn E.P.
Picking up where songs like ‘Waking Me Softly’ and ‘Wailing Road’ left off, the track begins with a snaking guitar riff that explodes into a psychedelic freakout that eventually gives way to reverb soaked vocals and sparkling guitars. Verney’s twisted take on the quiet/loud formula rejects the prettier side of the current psych revival, the hazy, deadpan delivery of the verses seeming only to amplify the the ear-bludgeoning chorus complete with John Dwyer-esque woops. In fact, the track wouldn’t sound out of place Thee Oh Sees’ Floating Coffin, which is no bad thing.
Much of the thrill of listening to Theo Verney comes from his guitar playing. In a genre where ‘slacker’ is the buzz word and instrumental competence is viewed as an unfair advantage and to a large extent, surplus to requirements, its a welcome change to hear someone playing with a palpable joy and abandon that translates into a truly exciting listen. Whether its Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi or The Stooges’ Ron Ashton, Verney navigates his musical touchstones without ever aping them. Likewise, anyone who enjoyed Ty Segall’s last incarnation in Fuzz will certainly want to keep an eye on Brighton’s finest.
Theo Verney plays Gold Sounds Festival on 26th May at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.