"The Los Angeles band revels in despair and disgust for mundane existence and delivers its message through noisy, stripped-down punk, shot through with elements of goth... Like The Cure, Tidemouth is incredibly earnest and it's reflected not just lyrically but in the raw, unadulterated nature of its caustic songs." –NOISEY
Tidemouth began life in 2008 as a screamo/grind beast, in line with bands like Orchid and the Three One G Records roster. A collection of demos and one 2010 EP captured this early phase, but now in 2015 the band reappears, evolved into something completely new.
"Velvet and Stone" drips with feeling from the first note to the last. A supremely confident work of art, it is both a gut-wrenching purge and a wonderfully self-aware bit of theater. It is also a masterpiece of minimalism – simplicity is wielded to maximum effect. On their debut LP, Tidemouth puts forth a raw, blackened version of hardcore punk, in line with current minimalists like Raspberry Bulbs. Primal drums and eerily warm, almost-clean guitar tones create an unsettling balance of violence and calm. On top of this is painted a heavy streak of dark, melodic goth-ness that elevates the music to a whole other place.
Opener "Secrets" sets a tone of loose blues, erupting into a howling dirge. It might be an outtake from The Flesh Eaters' A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die. Right off the bat, Tidemouth shows some respect for its city's history – the early '80s LA scene, where punks like X, The Flesh Eaters, The Gun Club, and T.S.O.L. veered into goth, blues, and country and helped pave the way for what would become "alternative" music in the '90s.
The album continues on in this fashion – bluesy, gothy, brutal, and totally memorable – bringing the band's love for classic mopers like Bauhuas, The Cure, and some of the aforementioned LA bands into a new, violent setting. Every second counts and it is the lack of things as well as the presence of things that makes Velvet and Stone such a knockout. Kilker states that the band set out to make a "raw, haunting, and heavy" album, and they have succeeded on all counts.
03. Black Lung
04. Memories of You
05. Clearing the Forest
06. Sunlight Sonata
07. Abyssal Blessing
08. Pepper Tree
10. What's Needed