A Quick and Dirty Guide to War

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The title is unexpectedly accurate: as Velocet's press kit almost immediately points out, the band's singer/songwriter Michael Davison is an ex-Marine who served in Iraq. On the other hand, A Quick and Dirty Guide to War isn't a concept album about the current war -- in fact, Davison's lyrics make almost no direct references to warfare of any kind that doesn't have anything to do with class or gender. Both lyrically and musically, Velocet are very much a part of the Brooklyn neighborhoods they call home. Think of an Americanized Bloc Party, or perhaps a rather less irritating Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Velocet are all about the post-punk revival, but their familiar one-note guitar solos and melodic bass runs are generally in favor of such structurally sound pop tunes as the sunny "Concertina" and the more reflective reverie "Birdsongs." So in other words, Velocet are doing pretty much the same thing as any number of other contemporary bands, but between Davison's engaging vocals and brash lyrical sense and Kris Ricat's spunky, economical, spiky guitar riffs, they do it all pretty well.

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