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Blood Red Velvet

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Based in New Orleans, Blood Red Velvet is a melodic, jangly adult alternative/folk-rock duo that has been greatly influenced by R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs. The twosome has also been compared to the Cure, and another influence -- either direct or indirect -- is the Beatles. With a name like Blood Red Velvet and a penchant for goth-like CD covers, some might assume that the Crescent City residents provide goth rock, industrial music, or alternative metal -- in other words, something dark and haunted. But Blood Red Velvet doesn't sound anything at all like Skinny Puppy, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, or Nine Inch Nails, and the group's frontman/leader, Bruno UK Steiner, favors a vocal style that obviously owes a lot to R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe. Steiner never reminds the listener of Trent Reznor or the controversial Marilyn Manson, but he does have a lot in common with Sheryl Crow and former 10,000 Maniacs vocalist Natalie Merchant. Blood Red Velvet was formed in the Crescent City in 1999, when Steiner joined forces with drummer Robert Weathers. Steiner is the busier of the two; in addition to handling all of Blood Red Velvet's lead vocals and doing all of the songwriting, Steiner plays guitar (both acoustic and electric), bass, and keyboards for his group. In 2003, Blood Red Velvet signed with the northern California-based Delvian label, which released two of their CDs -- Born Among the Ruins and Romeo's Bones -- simultaneously in January 2004. ~ Alex Henderson

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