The debut EP from Missoula’s Black Velvet Elvis captures both phases of the band’s history—before and after the addition of Joe Danger on drums.
Tracks one through four were recorded with a drum machine, and while songs like “Fox On a Hot Tin Roof” are perfect examples of BVE’s sultry blend of surf, punk and rock, it’s with Danger on the throne for tracks five through seven that the band best flexes its muscles. The Misfits classic “Teenagers From Mars” smokes, and the torchy, reverb-drenched “Rock n’ Roll Never Forgives” slinks and gasps in a way that a drum machine would never allow.
One quibble: The doubling and/or copious effects on Olivia Britz’s vocals are an unnecessary distraction. Britz is a fantastic singer and doesn’t need the studio help that other singers might. When stripped of encumbrances her voice shines, as showcased in the MySpace-only, live-in-KBGA recording of “My Daddy,” a track, unfortunately, absent here.
Nonetheless, the eponymous EP is a tantalizing tease of greater things to come from BVE. With only 25 copies pressed, if you didn’t get it, you didn’t get it. (Chris La Tray)