Velveteen Rabbit – Velveteen Rabbit (Hozac)

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The spine of Velveteen Rabbit’s debut LP lists says it came out in 2019, but sonically speaking, the year is pretty much always 1972 for this NYC band. The sound captured in these vinyl grooves transplants you back to a time when Paul McCartney was in Wings, Alice Cooper was still cool, Chris Bell was still in Big Star, and glitter was king (or “queen” perhaps.) These were pretty great times for rock music, so it’s only fitting that these ten songs are also pretty great. “Knock ‘Em Dead”, “The Gunman” and “Oh, Logan” are hard-rocking, mildly psychedelic and uber-fun examples of everything that was good about the original glam scene, but the ballads are where Velveteen Rabbit make the biggest impression. “Guitar” is an ode to the joys of guitar playing that doesn’t just sound like a lost Big Star song; it sounds like an amazing lost Big Star song! The vocals really hit home, like a carbon copy of Chilton and Bell at their most fragile and beautiful. “Star In The Making” is a space-glam ballad that would have sounded perfectly at home on Ziggy Stardust, which is about the highest form of compliment you can give a glitter/glam track. Things get funky on “I’ll Be A Boy For You”, with parts that are reminiscent of Prince and The Stones tossing some grit on top of the glitter and lamé. Remember Velveteen Rabbit’s 2018 single, “Mind Numbing Entertainment” b/w “I Wanna Be Your Woman”? Well the album ends with new souped-up versions of both songs, with production helmed by a mysterious character only identified as…. um… Eddie Cockring. Really, this album has a lot to love – the songs, sounds, style, and production are all uniformly excellent. Buy it now, sucka!

Velveteen Rabbit – “Mind-Numbing Entertainment”/”I Wanna Be Your Woman” (Hozac Records)

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Listening to this single, you’d swear Velveteen Rabbit were some forgotten British Junkshop Glam band, yet they’re a newly minted outfit from New York City, previously known as The Jeanies. Pretty much every circa-’73 glam touchstone is accounted for: fey vocals, boot-stomping beats, guitar moves copped from Bolan, Thunders and Ronson….and that’s just the A-side! Flip your 45 over and “I Wanna Be Your Woman” gives you more of the same, this time with a little gender-fluid sexuality thrown in to boot (Velveteen Rabbit are men). As with the best of the original glam scene, beneath the lipstick and glitter lies a rock and roll heart and keen pop sensibility. A two-song single feels like the right format for Velveteen Rabbit’s kind of cheap thrills (a term which, in Junkshop Glam parlance, is actually a compliment), but I’d also be curious to see if they can sustain the fun over the course of an album. Mostly, I just want to hear more music from them.