By Transvision Vamp
Velveteen is the second album by eighties also-rans Transvision Vamp, originally released a year after their debut record Pop Art landed in 1988. Both have been given the reissue treament by Universal, which means a spruce up for the original release plus a second disc of live tracks, demos and b-sides.
As with it's predecessor, the bonus tracks offered up don't reveal anything different about the band, but will please enthusiasts. The big surprise is how great Velveteen sounds nearly 25 years later. It's the familiar Transvision Vamp template - big drums, keyboard synths and fuzzy guitairs - only tighter, slicker and with more confidence. This is a focused group, attempting to lasso melody and commercial appeal wherever possible, and it shows.
Opener Baby I Don't Care plays like The Kingsmen meeting a drunk Kim Wilde at a karoke bar to blast through Louie Louie (no wonder then that this was the band's most successful single). There's tenderness too in numbers like Falling For A Goldmine and Landslide of Love; the latter the one song that should have catapulted them to stardom - or at the very least, more albums - and well into the nineties.
As history tells it only one more record followed before the wheels fell off the Transvision bus, 1991's Little Magnets. It looks like their swansong won't be afforded the same treatment as Pop Art or Velveteen, but no matter. These reissues serve as a timely reminder of an underappreciated band with an underrated legacy.
Velveteen (Deluxe Edition) is out now