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The Villains - Velocity

by Kevin Wierzbicki

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With a band name like the Villains you might expect this group to play rough-and-tumble rock or maybe even punk music but it turns out that the five-piece outfit isn't composed of bad guys after all, unless maybe you take the viewpoint of the poor guy who's having his girl stolen in "Bourbon Angel." A country rocker with a little southern swagger to it, the tune is seductive enough thanks to plenty of sweet harmony vocals but the song's barroom lothario seeks to seal the deal with his "angel" in a more conventional way; by plying her with whiskey, whiskey and more whiskey.

There's not much attempted larceny to the rest of Velocity though, instead the band sings about other easy to relate to situations, like being on the road and missing the girl back home during "747" and "(My) Rainy Day Girl" or trying to stay optimistic when things are going wrong like on the Byrds-like jangler "I've Got a Feeling."

The overall tone here is definitely southern but '60s pop influences can be heard throughout the album too, not only with the Roger McGuinn-style guitar riffs on "I've Got a Feeling" but also with a little psychedelia in the sitar-mimicking intro to "Cadillac."

The slightly tongue-in-cheek "Heartache, Whiskey and Beer" is a down tempo cryin' number dressed up with organ fills, slide guitar and an Eagles-like harmony-filled chorus that portrays the band as struggling and surviving on just the things mentioned in the song title; the description may have been autobiographical at one point but with this solid set of honest and memorable tunes, polished to a fine sheen by star producers Stan Lynch (Tom Petty, Don Henley) and Billy Chapin (Backstreet Boys), the Villains are singing a significantly different tune now.

Visit their official site here.

View the video for "(My) Rainy Day Girl" here.

Purchase Velocity at iTunes here.

The Villains - Velocity

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