Friday, October 20, 2006

Record Review: Veruca Salt

In the last two months I have picked up two records by bands that I had thought were done. Once it's been a few years since a band has put out a record, and when those bands have lost members you assume they are done. One of those groups was the Gin Blossoms, and I still don't know how I feel about their new record. The other, however, is Veruca Salt who dropped IV this past September. Ok, sure, the idea of a band called Veruca Salt putting out their 4th album and calling it IV is kind of ridiculous. Louise Post is the only one in the band now who was there for all of the lauding of "Seether" and "Volcano Girls." And sure both of those songs were written by Nina Gordon, who broke with the band over a Fleetwood Mac-esque love triangle 8 years ago. Gordon left with the more recognizable voice, and Post got to keep the recognizable band name. We all loose out on their killer harmonies. Gordon put out her second solo record a few weeks before IV hit the stores, or at least the internet. Good luck trying to find IV on the shelf of a record store, because the label: Sympathy For The Record Industry has very limited distro capabilities. But, if you can find it... buy it. Cause it is one hell of an album.

Post does miss having Gordon to play with, but that doesn't mean the songs don't hit hard. She still sounds like a aggressive, powerful 20 something on this record. On "Damage Done" her vocals mesh perfectly with Stephen Fitzpatrick's guitar and sound like vintage 90's indie rock. "Can't you see the damage done? It's all over now. You can't cry anymore girl, cause your tears dried up with the needle and the score, yeah." Just as easy as the anger and resentment come across in that lyric so to do the joy and contentment in "Perfect Love." "I want to be lovely. I want to be cute. I want to make all your sex-kitten dreams come true... perfect love, perfect man, perfect hand to guide me to: perfect you."

The current line up consisting of Post on vocals, Fitzpatrick on guitar, Nicole Fiorentino on bass and Kellii Scott at the drums, is tight. They play well together and really complement one another. Scott and Fiorentino's rhythm section is rock solid through out the 14 tracks and from time to time Fitzpatrick's lead guitar steps up to an awesome level. But in the end it is Post that sells this record. The staple of this genre will always be excellent writing and playing on the instruments but what causes a act to separate from the pack of good musicians is the vocals. Post just flat out sells it to us. On the track "Closer", a sexy, come hither romp, she lays it all out there. She starts off with "I will you to me like a river. Wash away all the war paint from your face." Before coming back with "I waited for you like a lion. Lay you down, weigh me down. You make my limbs ache." In the next verse she takes it over the top by singing "My body's holding your for ransom. Gotta make it happen, honey's gotta get paid. I want you at an angle, I want you face to face." That about says it all.

In short this is just a damn fine rock n roll album. And while I'm sure it would have been better with Nina Gordon in tow, that's not what we have, so why not just enjoy the group as is, which is very easy to do. This is some good work out of Veruca Salt.


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