Rock Hard Music, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Velocity is a band who could have been frozen back in the '80s and just thawed out in 1999. Sounding a lot like both Foreigner and Bad Company when both bands decided to use some testosterone, their music features crunching guitars, clean leads, occasional cock-rock flirtations and a whole lotta attitude... and I'm lovin' every minute of it.

Essentially a two-man band (with the addition of Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey), Velocity - David Victor and Chris Dodge - throw caution to the wind and play the music they like on Impact. It is a reminder of how good hard rock could be in the '80s... and how good it still sounds today when performed correctly. (Side note: Velocity has since fleshed out its lineup with drummer Bob Gaut and bassist Chris Thornton.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Now, I'll be the first to admit that the lyrical content isn't exactly War And Peace - but when was the last time you listened to hard rock as fine literature? And as long as Victor can continue to deliver the goods as well as he does on this album, you won't hear me complaining too much. (In fact, the only negative I could point out would be Victor's diction; sometimes what I heard in a song and what the lyric sheet said were polar opposites.)

What Velocity also has going for them is that they're not concerned about the mile-a-minute solos. Granted, both Victor and Dodge are very good guitarists, and both are able to whip out some tasty solos. But it often seems like the melody of the song is more important than whacking off on the guitar neck - which is a refreshing change of pace.

Tracks like "You Don't Amaze Me Anymore," "She's Been Around" and "Riot Goin' On" all adequately show the kind of talent that Velocity has - even to the point of doing a ballad of sorts ("Supernatural Lover") and being able to pull it off without sounding cheesy.

There were only two weak points on Impact. First, after an album filled with songs that were well-written and devoid of teenage sexual braggadocio, "One Minute To Midnight" comes around and puts the focus back on getting laid ("Skip the flick / Cut to the chase / Baby, yeah baby, you're gonna feel some rhythm tonight / Love rhythm"). Damn... the hopes of moving forward dashed again by penis worship.

The only other weak point was the instrumental closer, "Open Road". While I'm not suggesting that doing an instrumental is a bad thing, this one could have used a bit more development before unleashing it on the public - especially in the abrupt ending to the song, which doesn't reconcile well.

Still, these two points aren't that big when compared to the whole album, and Impact is a solid slab of rock that pays respects to the past while making the sound fit today's scene. If there's any justice, Velocity should see their career take off like a rocket.

Rating: B+

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rock Hard Music, and is used for informational purposes only.