The Veils put out their fifth album, Total Depravity, in August, their first release in over three years. Led by Finn Andrews, the son of Shriekback frontman Barry Andrews, the New Zealand-by-way-of-London band has always been known for their intensity, and this album makes no exception, never letting up over the course of its 47 minutes. The band embarked on a brief North American tour this month, their first since the release of the previous album, and Washington, DC was fortunate enough to get one of only three east coast dates at DC9.
Coming off as a modern-day take on the gothic Americana of Crime and the City Solution, early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Wovenhand, the Veils have a sound that is unique today’s indie rock landscape. In his dark suit and a wide-brimmed hat, Andrews could easily be mistaken for a fire-and-brimstone preacher, and he sings with the fervor of one. He has been announced as a cast member in the new Twin Peaks season that is coming out next year, and while no details regarding his role have been released, it is easy to see why he would fit in with the series.
The show opened with new track “Here Come the Dead,” Andrews yelping in his gospel-inspired croon over a droning synth line and bursts of guitar fury. Most of the set concentrated on the new release, including eight of the twelve tracks from it, including album-opener “Axolotl,” “Do Your Bones Glow at Night?,” “Swimming With the Crocodiles,” and the “Low Lays the Devil.” The back catalog was represented only by four tracks from 2006’s Nux Vomica, including the title track, “Calliope!,” and “Not Yet.” The band closed the set with one of their best-known tracks, “Jesus For the Jugular.”
Baltimore psych band Celebration opened the show.