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Codeine Velvet Club - Codeine Velvet Club

Codeine Velvet Club, Codeine Velvet Club

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

CODEINE Velvet Club is the new musical collaboration between Jon Lawler (lead singer and chief songwriter of The Fratellis) and singer-songwriter Lou Hickey. And they’re pretty damn great!

The duo exists to celebrate a shared love of ’60s girl-boy duets, dramatic orchestral pop, dark post-war Hollywood and Las Vegas romanticism.

Having already impressed [massively] with lead single Vanity Kills, they now deliver an album that’s equally thrilling.

Indeed, it was the success of Vanity Kills that compelled the duo to continue writing together, with efforts like Hollywood and the Mariachi-inflicted Time going some way to putting the album on track.

Fortunately, their passion translates well to an album that veers brilliantly between the romantic cinematic sweep of slower burning tracks like Nevada and the Pulp Fiction flavoured eeriness/hipness of The Black Roses.

Indeed, such is the celebratory nature and quality of their songwriting that Lawler and Hickey were able to enlist the likes of The Gospel Truth Choir, an electric sitar and the trumpet skills of legendary player Derek Watkins (who has played on all Bond themes since 1962) to aument the overall sound and enjoyment of The Black Roses. Needless to say, it’s one of the LP’s finest moments.

Another is the bombastic riot of energy that is Little Sister, which foot-stomps to life amid a frenzy of horns and electric guitars that’s utterly inspiring. It’s the album’s big-time party record… swinging, cavorting and even Jungle Boo-ing its way into your subconscious… a riot of positivity that’s utterly enriching.

Further highlights come in the form of the aforementioned Nevada, the similarly romantic Reste Avec Moi and the celebratory I Would Send You Roses.

But in truth, Lawler and Hickey seldom put a foot wrong and even those songs we’ve not mentioned merit attention. Like A Full Moon thrives on the boy-girl duet that’s delivered simultaneously for a change and Begging Bowl Blues concludes things in orchestral, cinematic, playful fashion to leave you thirsting for more.

Let’s just hope the Codeine Velvet Club aren’t just a one-off indulgence. Music-making this good (and fun) deserves to find a wide audience that will enable it to run and run…

Download picks: Vanity Kills, The Black Roses, Little Sister, Nevada, I Would Send You Roses, Begging Bowl Blues

Track listing:

  1. Hollywood
  2. Vanity Kills
  3. Time
  4. The Black Roses
  5. Little Sister
  6. Nevada
  7. Reste Avec Moi
  8. I Would Send You Roses
  9. Like A Full Moon
  10. Begging Bowl Blues