Revisiting Tom Vek’s ‘We Have Sound’ 10 years after its release
Ahead of his anniversary show at Brixton’s Electric, how does Tom Vek’s We Have Sound stand up ten years on?
I was 16, living in a small town and full of pent up energy when I first heard Tom Vek and his debut LP We have Sound. It arrived in my ears within the flurry of the explosion of the indie scene (something I was desperate to a be a part of) and ruffled the feathers of every band within it as it simultaneously complimented and destroyed their rhetoric.
It’s an album that, in 2005, bore the label of ‘You should be listening to it’, its deep bass and incredible yet obtuse vocal made Vek a marmite artist and there is no quicker way to develop a cult following than being divisive. Devotion and adoration soon followed for Vek and he went on to create a niche for himself as the cooler crossover between electro and rock and roll with effortless ease which permeated the music and suffocated the audience with admiration.
Listening to the album ten years on, there is little competition to this incredible style, it still sets itself apart from the crowd as it moves through rock and roll rhythm adding the flourishes of synths and bass lead lines, it subverts the genre and lasers its own geometric hole in the granite of guitar music.
In an album that features indie-club bangers such as ‘If I Had Changed My Mind’, which drones through its pop sensibility after the initial ramshackle guitar noise, ‘If You Want’, ‘I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes’ and the effervescent start track ‘C-C (You Set The Fire In Me)’ there’s little to discourage the idea that his use of industrial sounds outweighed the traditional string roots.
The 10 year anniversary serves as a sobering thought of our increasing age but also that the scene in its current state needs a shot in the arm, the kind that has not been seen since Vek announced himself as one of the foremost artists of his generation with this incredible debut album.
Transcending genre and nullifying his comrades with aloof artistry he managed to say everything they wanted to say and with far more urban eloquence, like Picasso painting your diary across Liverpool Street.