Confidence can make or break any album, and in iconic indie rockers The Veldt’s new offering Entropy is the Mainline to God, it’s the catalyst for some of the record’s most profound moments, such as the otherwise poetically heart-wrenching “Red Flagz” and uncompromisingly rocking “Electric Revolution.”
The Veldt doesn’t want to run with any particular crowd in Entropy is the Mainline to God; on the contrary, they’re setting forth their classic style of alternative rock in tunes like the churning “Sweeter” and rather sophisticated “Slave Ship Serenade,” skewing familiar themes with experimental concepts that some purists would foolishly say belong on the sidelines. If you’re looking for a band who is going to adhere to the compositional rules of a bygone era, there’s no question whether or not The Veldt isn’t a match for you – their work is far too flexible and, for that matter, far too endeared to the wit and wisdom of rock n’ roll, punk, and even avant-garde music to fit inside of a box, and for some of us, that makes theirs one of the cooler LPs we’re going to hear this winter.
Despite its ambient tone, “Requiem for Emmett Till” isn’t entirely indebted to the shoegaze old school, but instead straddles the line between rock and post-punk that has long been abandoned by some of the biggest names in the underground these days. Where “Check Out Your Mind” is as true to the alternative tradition as a composition can get without being a straight-up homage, other songs like the stirring “Soul Power” and indie star “Get Away (Interpolation)” are much harder to describe using the conventional terminology that a lot of critics have come to depend on when fielding new releases in any particular era or genre.
This is a unique time for rock bands, and for The Veldt, I think they couldn’t have picked a more optimal moment to be making their latest statement in Entropy is the Mainline to God – hybridity has never been quite as trendy as it is this year, but moreover, their lack of interest in following the same journey so many of their forerunners did is quite the turn-on for millennial audiences around the globe.
From the moment we press play and get introduced to the sizzle of “New Blood” firsthand, through the introspective stampede that takes us into “Walk With the Spirits” and finally wrapping things up in “Cold Outside,” The Veldt gives us some of the best songcraft I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in the year 2023 from any artist in or outside of the United States. As usual, the underground is doing one heck of a number on the mainstream in terms of creative intelligence, and if The Veldt can help to break a lot of their fellow indie rock players through, I think that the genre would benefit from it tremendously in the long run. The notion of scene politics should be as archaic as a landline telephone, and the work of these legends is exactly what the doctor ordered this February.