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Luck

Tom Vek

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Album Review

It's fitting that Tom Vek's third album is filled with songs about teetering between crisis and opportunity: after the release of Leisure Seizure, he was evicted from his East London studio to make room for more housing — the same studio that he'd spent many of the years between his debut We Have Sound and Leisure Seizure building from scratch. Undeterred, he continued working on his music entirely on his own, channeling his frustration into an album that tries to graft order onto chaos, whether through reason, as on the taut opening track "How Am I Meant to Know," or potentially misplaced faith, as on the finale "Let's Pray." Vek conveys the anxiety and anger coursing through these tracks with hectic beats and synths that seem to buzz with impatience, resulting in tracks that are equally unsettling and appealing, like the Asian-tinged "Broke." The mix of philosophical lyrics and punchy sounds in Vek's music has always been unique, and while losing his studio might have been unfortunate in the short term, it gives Luck a newfound sense of purpose. Vek sounds more driven than ever before on "Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)," a bold call to action echoed by "Pushing Your Luck," where he sums things up in amusingly blunt fashion: "You better think how not to suck." Unfortunately, he squanders a chunk of Luck's momentum on the album's second half. "Trying to Do Better," the kind of empowering song Vek excelled at on Leisure Seizure, stumbles on choruses that are meant to soar, while "The Girl You Wouldn't Leave for Any Other Girl" is a little too simple and repetitive in its mix of loping acoustic guitars and braying vocals. He gets back on track with "The Tongue Avoids the Teeth," an equally bleak and catchy workout, and the fraught "A Mistake," which underscores Vek's emo influences when he yelps "You're only human!" Perhaps it's appropriate that an album named Luck features some of his finest moments as well as some of his most uneven ones. Even though Vek doesn't find or offer any easy answers on Luck, its highlights capture the most challenging and engaging parts of his work.

Customer Reviews

Best thing since 2006

The people need to hear this album. A gem buried in the sand of pop crap, say it like it is, and it is the new translation for awesome.

Thanks Tom!

Im so stoked to see Tom Vek making new music, His first album has always been one of my favorites, the second was an amazing comeback that I listen to constantly, just found out about this new one. BOUGHT IT RIGHT AWAY!! KEEP IT UP TOM!!!

Biography

Born: London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

London's eclectic one-man band Tom Vek combines electronic music with indie rock, punk with dance, and influences like new wave and garage (and also made most of his early recordings in his parents' garage, too). However, as a teen in the mid-'90s, Vek was inspired by grunge and began making rock along the lines of Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam; before that, he backed his guitarist father on bass and drums in their practice space/garage. When his family acquired a reel-to-reel tape recorder when...
Full Bio
Luck, Tom Vek
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