Ghost Notes

Veruca Salt

El Camino Music Group, 2015

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On this, their first album with their original lineup in eighteen years, Veruca Salt has returned with a sound very reminiscent of their ‘90s heyday, but with a modern spin. The dual vocals/guitars of Louise Post and Nina Gordon sound as strong as they ever did, and this 14 track collection proves that they were one of the most unsung alt rock groups of the ‘90s.

First single “Laughing In The Sugar Bowl” is one of those quick blasts of pure rock that sounds as great as “Seether” did back in 1994. The opening track, “The Gospel According To Saint Me,” is a modern take on their classic sound that sounds pretty good, driven as always by bassist Steve Lack and the unabashed sloppiness of drummer Jim Shapiro. “Black And Blonde” immediately strikes me as something that would’ve sounded right at home on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Eight Arms To Hold You, very riff-heavy and dynamic. Apparently, many of these songs were started in preparation for a third record or as demos back in the ‘90s; it’s amazing to hear how heavy and thunderous they sound after getting fleshed out and finished. Reuniting with American Thighs producer Brad Wood has really worked wonders for this band; they sound as strong and loud as any real American rock band on the radio now.

There are several mediocre songs like “Prince Of Wales,” but it’s still great to hear Post and Gordon’s vocals co-mingling like they used to. “Come Clean Dark Thing” is the sound of Veruca Salt now, and while it’s pretty dark and gloomy, the band has always blazed their own path. “Love You Less” is another interesting standout with some strong lyrics and great vocals from Nina and Louise. “The Museum Of Broken Relationships” was previously released as a Record Store Day 7” and was a great way to launch their comeback. “Triage” is one of the most fuzz-heavy, grungy throwback tracks on the record, harkening back to Veruca Salt of old. Anyone who grew up loving their first two records is going to love this one, without a dash of irony.

Seventeen years have passed since Nina originally left the band, and with plenty of time to patch up their differences and come back to life, I think it’s fair to say that the band has done a hell of a job. Fans of great ‘90s alternative rock should rejoice at one of the most astonishing comebacks in recent memory.

Rating: B

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© 2015 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of El Camino Music Group, and is used for informational purposes only.