Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Album Review: Veruca Salt- Ghost Notes

Veruca Salt
Ghost Notes
**and1/2 out of *****

On the opening "Gospel According To Saint Me" the lyric "Kick open the door/Surprise Surprise" rings especially true because In one of the more surprising reunions the original members of Veruca Salt have come back together to release a full length title Ghost Notes, a poppy mid-90's looking offering.

Main co-front women Louise Post and Nina Gordon along the rhythm section of Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack started playing together in 1993 and really hit the big time with 1994's "Seether" off of American Thighs. While Post has continued to play as the band with various other members the originals are back at it on Ghost Notes, a long 14 track return to their roots.   

In the alt-rock heyday "Seether" had a distinct female twist on the many boy bands flannel-ing it up at the time. Here the tracks fall right into that positive sounding grunge style, even when describing what sounds like a songwriter being cheated on in "Prince of Wales". The oh-oh's and fuzzy guitars are more sunshiny then angst ridden and muddy. 

Lyrically there isn't a lot of staggering lines as most sentences revolve around relationship push and pulls of holding on ("Sound of Leaving") or moving on ("Black and Blonde"). The title of the opener gave me high hopes that VS would tackle the individualistic/narcissistic society trends of today, but it wasn't to be. "Museum of Broken Relationships" sums up most of the lyrical terrain covered here simply in its title.  

"Laughing In The Sugar Bowl" pumps up the energy into a pop-punk tempo for a first single while "Empty Bottle" slows it right back down with guitars and bass lines talking to each other in measured steps before the band explodes for a full out assault about halfway through the almost 6 minute track. Big drum beats signal a groovy "Come Clean, Dark Thing" with a smirk and swagger.  

The best combo of the bands upbeat hard rock/pop style is found on "Eyes On You" with its double guitar flourish in front a bombastic bass/drum and "I'm Telling You Now" with a shaking back beat and defiant vocal/guitar work that reminds you that the band is still here. There isn't anything approaching a new sound, but that isn't the plan on Ghost Notes, it is a clear try to return to the groups heyday. 
Can still remember buying the CD of American Thighs when it first came out and really digging on it. Good to see the group back together.

Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video here:

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