Tom Vek first crossed my radar during his one-night-only performance at the fictitious Bait Shop for a group of disinterested teens on The O.C. Mixing catchy, messy dance beats with elements ranging from lo-fi to pop, Vek’s music samples a bit of everything. But Vek, who first released We Have Sound in 2005, vanished with a prolonged hiatus. He mysteriously continued to promise a new release, but many doubted his return. Nearly six years later, Vek makes good on his promise with Leisure Seizure.
Leisure Seizure gives insight into the man who has been missing from the music scene. “I’m a lost cowboy/waiting for the truth,” Vek declares on opener “Hold Your Hand”. It seems quite the contrary as Vek seems to have found his place with this release. Vek combines all the same elements of garage electronic rock that fans came to love on We Have Sound, but this time around he’s polished his sound.
Where Vek truly excels is creating simple, catchy tracks with lyrics and beats that become ingrained in your memory. “We Do Nothing” is filled with brash bursts of percussion and a smooth breakdown featuring static and playful synths. “We do nothing with our time/you’ll have to listen now/that is all that I can do,” Vek repeats, perhaps instructing fans on how to handle his return. A lesson in spelling comes courtesy of “A.P.O.L.O.G.Y.”, swapping severe bass with frantic synths and an unforgettable chorus.
A hiatus of such length leaves fans expecting Vek to deliver. Though his sound hasn’t changed much, it is clear Vek has matured. “Close Mic’ed” best represents this seasoned Vek: a gloomy track with soft vocals over an ominous snyth and melancholy backing beats. It’s unlike anything he’s done previously. How long before the next Vek release remains to be seen, but Leisure Seizure will be stuck in your head long after you quit listening.