By Mike Alahverdian, Rock At Night New England
Review: VEER’s album Soft Machines – Release date July 22, 2023
What I find bewildering in this day and age, with all of the social networking sites available, is the difficulty in finding and listening to some of the great music that’s out there and, for the most part, which is known only by fans in the band’s local area.
One example of this is the rock band VEER. Besides having fans in the mid-Atlantic states (and other areas, I assume)and being an award-winning band, I needed to familiarize myself with the band. After listening to their new release, I realized I was one of the unfortunate ones missing out on this incredible band. This band is that good. With members Ronald Malfi, Jon Malfi, Ryan Fowler, and Christian Mathis, VEER was founded in 2016 out of Annapolis, Maryland.
With the release of their latest album, Soft Machines, this fine group of musicians, with their layered melodies and deep, thoughtful lyrics, are not your typical rock band singing about boy/girl relationships. However, they do mix in a few. Mostly, they sing about life, humanity, and the fragile beings that we are.
The album begins with “Science,” it may take a listen or two, but it will grab you and not let go (don’t forget to check out their video). Kudos to Steve Wright for a wonderful job co-producing. The entire album is like this, so get ready. Sure, there are a few moments when the band makes it a bit spacey and dreamy, and you may wonder where they are taking you, but there is a method behind the madness, and I say that in a complimentary way. As the band admits,” It’s arguably a concept album, running a thematic balance between the organic nature of humankind and the dreamlike, fanciful notions of transcending beyond that humanity — a literal ‘blast off’ from the human race.”
“Red Tide” is a hard-edged, dark song with a repetitive guitar line that drives the song exactly where it needs to be.
One of the highlights of this album is “All The Same.” This song quickly became one of my favorites with its catchy lyrics and instrumentation. “Na Na Na” has a Theory of a Deadman sound, while “Carry On” has a wonderful Matchbox Twenty feel to it. “The spooky and dark “Overcome” is a sad, emotion-filled, but well-written song. “Bring Me Life” is a hard-driving song, and you can almost feel empathy for the vocalist as he sings the words ‘bring me life.’ Listen to the lyrics carefully, and you will get my point. Singer Ronald Malfi states this about his songs, ” The lyrics—the meaning behind the lyrics—are much darker than the casual listener might realize.” “Keep It Good” may be the most compelling track on this collection of outstanding songs.
The rest of this excellent album’s songs are just as good. “Astronaut” stands out, with the thundering drumming of Jon Malfi, while “Photograph” brings back memories of meaningful relationships. At the same time, “A New Place” and “Figure It Out” (check out Ryan Fowler’s superb guitar solo) might get you thinking about whether you are pleased with your life and perhaps it’s time to seek change.
To summarize this album, every song is well-written and performed exceptionally well. If you enjoy this style of music, then you will surely find a favorite tune in this collection of what could easily be a greatest hits album.
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