released Dec 29th
from the album - Hollywood
YouTube - Codeine Velvet Club - Hollywood
Codeine Velvet Club is a Scottish Alternative rock band formed in 2009 by Lou Hickey and Jon Lawler (better known as Jon Fratelli), while Jon's main band, The Fratellis, were taking a break before recording their third studio album. The band are releasing their début album, Codeine Velvet Club on 28 December 2009.
Jon Lawler stated in 2008, while The Fratellis were touring their Here We Stand album, that he wanted to release a solo effort to keep himself busy between albums, indicating that the band were going to take a break once they finished touring the album. When The Fratellis finished their touring commitments in July 2009, after the Hop Farm Festival, the band went on to their new projects. Fans already knew that Jon was going to do a side project by this point. It was later reported that he had formed a band called 'Codeine Breakfast Club' with Lou Hickey on NME, but fans had already been aware of the involvement of Lawler and Hickey.
On 23 August 2009, it was reported in the Sunday Mail that the band was to be called Codeine Velvet Club and will be releasing their eponymous debut album on 16 November 2009. The article also included a track-by-track with Jon Lawler. This article also mentioned that Lawler and Hickey shared songwriting duties between them. The band's official website was unveiled (although in a basic form for now) and featured a clip of their song Vanity Kills. Fans who sign up to the mailing list were able to view the full song as performed by the band. Later on, the website contained information about their debut shows (15, 17 and 19 September), a video player was also added to the site, showing full versions of "Vanity Kills" and new track "Hollywood". Reviews to the initial shows were positive, complimenting the duo's vocals and the musical arrangements.
The full website debuted on 28 September 2009, with a free download of album track "Nevada" in acoustic form. The band were confirmed for "Homecoming Live: The Final Fling", taking place at the Glasgow SECC on 28 November 2009. After, the band confirmed their first full UK Tour on 8 October 2009, stopping at various club venues across the country. The band unveiled their video for debut single "Vanity Kills" on YouTube on 11 November 2009, along with a new Member's download called "Mellotron Boogie No 3" which was explained by Jon to be an instrumental he was working on around the time came together and that he "liked the odd combination of notes that make up the melody and i'm pretty sure that one day it'll find it's way somewhere that makes a bit of sense" but stating "in the meantime it is what it is!"
album review from contact music
Codeine Velvet Club have to be one of the most surprising yet strangest acts of 2009. Consisting of The Fratellis front man Jon Lawler as well as Singer Songwriter Lou Hickey, they are a collaborate that 'share a love of 60s girl-boy duets, dark post-war Hollywood and Las Vegas romanticism'.
Well opening track Hollywood certainly goes the right way about filling that rather specific criteria. With Lawler taking the reins, it bursts into life without stark warning. Hickey provides Broadway musical backing vocals until a stuttering stop start chorus resonates over a sea of strings. Think The Last Shadow Puppets with more Sinatra and less Scott Walker.
The showbiz titled Vanity Kills also manages to impress. This time lacquered with horns, the boy-girl combo opt to share vocals this time as we are allowed to examine the vocal ability of the unknown Hickey to a greater extent. It's a voice that doesn't disappoint, never sounding overawed by the epic brass section on the record and manages to blend successfully with Lawler.
At this point it all works nicely, achieving its desired sound providing the theatrical sound that the press release promised. However it all goes a bit pear shaped for a while somewhere in the middle. Time winds up sounding like something from the Rock Horror Show, whereas The Black Roses fails to get going and winds up leaving you under whelmed. If the first track was Hollywood this ones merely a B-movie.
Like all good movie careers, a comeback is always possible and that's exactly what's achieved via the energetic swinging Little Sister. Sporting some monster riffs as well as a powerful anthemic chorus 'Hey little sister just slow down slow down hey little sister just don't let go' Its more glam rock that post war Hollywood but all the same its almost impossible not to get swept along with it all. The recovery at this point is complete and shows no signs of waning, even when they try their hand at the ballad Rest Avec Moi.
Codeine Velvet Club then finish off matters with the flag waving Begging Bowl Blues which fades out gracefully to perfectly sum up an album that doesn't full short with its charm. An original idea, it's a record that manages to sound both retrospective with its nods to post war Hollywood glamour as well as modern with its strong riffs and song writing styles. Maybe not an Oscar winning performance but certainly worthy of a Bafta.
1. "Hollywood" Jon Lawler 4:01
2. "Vanity Kills" Lawler, Lou Hickey 3:30
3. "Time" Lawler, Hickey 3:50
4. "The Black Roses" Lawler, Hickey 3:26
5. "Little Sister" Lawler 2:32
6. "Nevada" Lawler, Will Foster 3:35
7. "Reste Avec Moi" Lawler, Hickey 4:07
8. "I Would Send You Roses" Lawler 3:53
9. "Like a Full Moon" Lawler 3:28
10. "Begging Bowl Blues" Lawler 4:52
11. "I Am the Resurrection (Bonus Track)" Ian Brown and John Squire 4:52