The wonderfully eerie "Sleep" opens this 11-song debut CD, The Cause: The Effect, by the U.K. group Veldt, not to be confused with Chapel Hill, NC band the Veldt from the '80s/'90s. "Sleep" has bending guitars right out of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly or any other spaghetti western you can think of — this trio certainly likes its movie soundtracks — and the haunting backing vocals and voice on the hook are enhanced by explosive sounds and tight edits, making for an extraordinary little piece of music with a lot of surprises. The title track, "The Cause, the Effect," has flavors of Roxy Music and more film music nuances as does "Walking in Silence," the effective video which recalls the great British synth pop of groups like Human League and Spandau Ballet's "new romance" sound, only with more sweeping ambience for a new millennium. The lyrics have staying power long after the song has played its last note, a sure sign of craftsmanship from Lloyd Wadey, James Waterland, and Mike Alexander, three musicians who have a wonderful sense of style, coupled with material and production that are first rate. Add to that the trio's intuitive sense of what is classy and intriguing and you get a superb
concoction of old-school British pop with elements of the modern sounds a Monsieur Leroc squeezes into his soulful gems. A tune like "Good Morning," their debut single, evokes the majesty of an old Marianne Faithfull album while delivering perfect harmonies that could be the Small Faces if they were young and just starting out in the 2000s. This is one of the few bands that begs you to seek out the bonus track on their second CD single, so go find "Play for Today," the B-side of "Walking in Silence," and understand that there are musicians out there who care about a rich sound and delivering compositions that have melodic strength and interesting lyrics. The Cause: The Effect is a very impressive debut and a deep album that grows stronger with repeated spins. Highly recommended.