Velour Fog’s ‘Dopehead’: A Rock Cocktail with a Twist of Arnold
Self-described as “a Schwarzenegger of hard rock”, UK’s Velour Fog certainly doesn’t lack confidence. Timidity has no place in this revivalist hybridized genre collider arena, and a thorough blasting of their new single ‘Dopehead’ goes full Arnold with gusto. Released October 23 of ‘23, I believe the late great Robert Anton Wilson would have approved of the “23 enigma” calendar slap, but I digress.
“We want you to walk away from experiencing us knowing that we are the most dangerous band bringing it to ya!”– Velour Fog
See? Confidence goes to 11. Timidity sits at zero and so it should be when your sound is a full pint of 80s swagger rawk with generous nods to great 90s grunge acts and oh yeah; deadly as you please guitaring that features perfectly executed fast-as-you-can-hear-em lead passages that are impressively woven into Velour Fog’s compositions.
This new single boasts the talents of frontman-lead guitarist-principal songwriter Jake ‘Snakebite’, with top flight rhythm guitar work from Marshall ‘Herculez’ (does he play through Marshall amps?, I wonder), ultra proficient bass from skateboard enthusiast Naois ‘Bone’ Bonar, and meaty propulsion from ‘Chainsaw’ Ali on the drum kit.
A quick aside: Apparently in a shades of Spinal Tap development, ‘Chainsaw’ is no longer with the team, having been abducted by “the Zethrons” according to an Instagram report, so the search for a new drummer with big feet to fill those big shoes is underway. That said, we are reviewing ‘Dopehead’ and thus I proceed to immerse myself into the mammoth sound of VF’s influence confluence metamorph…
(puts on headphones — adjusts volume for immersion maximus)
Check out the official music video for Dopehead on YouTube:
The track begins in a mysteriously alluring atonal cave from which you are ejected by a cascading flurry of guitar notes into a slamming riff-meets-chunk promise of good things to follow, and then we settle into a reminder of that intro before some snappy funk-ass bass introduces a full swagger vocal verse that raps its way toward one hell of a chorus hook. I’m digging that vocal delivery and how the harmonies evoke a wonderful Alice In Chains feel.
Jake has the kind of versatile rock voice that suits the VF template to perfection, and this is a super catchy chorus (with relatable lyrics) that glues everything around it together seamlessly. You get two satisfying passes of the chorus and an added bonus of delicious Malmsteen-esque lead breaks that on paper shouldn’t fit into this scheme but these dudes defy you to resist their unique approach.
For a new band on the come-up, you can do a lot worse than to pay tribute to classic eras of yore with a refreshing new take on that good stuff that comes back around to push the envelope and appease our hunger for good rock music. This new single is, in my humble opinion, definitely that.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the rock solid production from Jake Adams and veteran Nick Tauber, who has produced the likes of Thin Lizzy, UFO, Marillion, Venom, Girlschool… It’s a great sounding track that showcases the promise of Velour Fog’s bright future. A video for ‘Dopehead’ is in the works but in the meantime you can delve further via the following links: Facebook, Instagram, Linktree. Get in touch with the IAMUR team for coverage, reviews and interviews here.