Theo Verney

There’s a little childhood prank one of my siblings liked to play, and still sometimes trots out on special occasions, in which, positioning your hands carefully on either side of some distant relative’s head palms outstretched, you tell them, a vision of childish innocence, that there’s an imaginary piece of string passing through their ears.

Then, with all the sweetness your sadistic little mind can muster, you ask them to pull one end of the string.

This caused a lot of “friction” at the dinner table. It’s also what comes to mind when I play Theo Verney’s Heavy Sunn Ep.

Standout cut ‘Wake Me Softly’, Verney’s ‘favourite track on the record’ floats into life in a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ haze of sunny, vaguely psychedelic noodling all tied up in a doughy bundle of soft, pillow-talk vocals. Then, with a gleefull snap of his wrist a Black Sabbath channelling slide of ‘wall to ceiling’ pain descends, hand like, onto the unexpecting listeners cheek.

It’s a shock but, unlike my brother’s charming party-piece, more ‘jump into the sea’ exhilarating than ‘red welt mark agony’. Bracing sure, but, when you acclimatise to his exacting vision, it’s pretty hard to deny Verney’s raw appeal.

With psych top of the menu for 2014, and a new slew of neo-metal apostates (The Wytches, Drenge ) making waves, it’s worth watching this Brighton boy.

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