Tom Vek - I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes (Tummy Touch)
UK release date: 21 March 2005
This is rising star Tom Vek's first release of the year, and the last to be recorded in his parent's garage. They moved house and he's moved label, finding himself on Univeral Island. The big push for stardom starts here.
Like so many recent releases, the song is in an early '80s, post-punk sound. But where the likes of Bloc Party can twist and pollute the sources and conjure something fresh, Tom Vek just seems happy to imitate.
The guitar is suitably scratchy, serrated and atonal and the vocals sound like John Lydon in a garage. A dull electronic murk attempts to mask the dire lack of ideas and the bass approximates funk in a tired, badly Xeroxed fashion. Can 20-year-old boys from Essex really find the funk? On this evidence, no.
The early '80s sounded grim because they were - fear was palatable and apprehension was audible in jerky rhythms and anxious vocals. Tom Vek is not informed by the same sense of impending catastrophe, and, unfortunately, you can hear it: a sound co-opted because it's easy to replicate and a song without meaning equals the sound of barrels being scraped.