Review : Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls
PitchforkAt the end of the video for Veronica Falls' "Bad Feeling", Roxanne Clifford, the group's bob-haired singer/guitarist, clad in a dashingly fey polka-dot blouse, picks up an antique book-- the ultimate twee signifier-- and lights it on fire. Given indie rock's recent jangle-pop overload, and the comments that Veronica Falls have made in the press ("people like to romanticize about C86 [but] there were lots of rubbish bands associated with it..."), it's tempting to wonder aloud: is "Bad Feeling" the C86 version of that video where George Michael goes iconoclastic on us and sets his own leather jacket ablaze?
Well, maybe not, but at the very least it's a decent visual metaphor for the band's sound: expertly stagy revivalism with the slightest hint of mutiny. You could have said the same thing of Slumberland labelmates and fellow fresh-faced indie poppers the Pains of Being Pure at Heart when they first burst out the gates with Pastels badges on their sleeves-- the quartet's self-titled debut hits with the same sort of immediacy that that first Pains LP did. Both records do familiar things so well that, occasionally, momentarily, they actually trick you into thinking you've never heard anything like them before....full text
ConsequenceofsoundVeronica Falls have been building considerable buzz over the past two years thanks to a string of well-received singles. The London quartet’s harmony-laden, jangly guitar pop is the kind of sound proven time and time again to send the average blogger heart a-flutter. Now that the highly anticipated full-length self-titled album is here, plus an upcoming tour in support of The Drums, Veronica Falls are poised to become the Next Big Thing.
Initially, Veronica Falls can come across as yet another work of light, sunny lo-fi indie pop with a major case of nostalgia, or at least upon a less attentive listen. However, as promised by the portentous album cover, there is something sinister amidst the 60’s doo-wop, boy-girl harmonies. “Misery” closes with what could be a spooky nursery rhyme, something with which the music of Veronica Falls shares much in common. Just as nursery rhymes wrap tales of babies and anthropomorphic eggs falling to certain doom in a blanket of pleasant melodies, Veronica Falls counter their affinity for lyrics of darkness and death with sweet pop.
On the deceptively upbeat “Found Love in a Graveyard”, Veronica Falls tell the tale of falling for a ghost, and dips into surf-rock on the irresistible “Beachy Head”, an ode of longing for a popular suicide locale. Yet, for all their hooks and macabre, the band never quite soars towards the stratosphere, nor does their preoccupation with the dark side of life ever fully pull them into the abyss. While this sense of restraint feels deliberate, it does raise hopes that the band will fully go off the deep end the next time around. Nevertheless, Veronica Falls is an overall engaging album of contrasts....full text
ThelmagazineFans of goth and twee music seem like natural allies, but they're hardly interchangeable. Bullied beta-males and appalled smart alecks populate both camps, but their reaction to outsider status differs wildly (they embrace over-the-top, romantic grimness or whimsical harmlessness, respectively). The self-titled debut from London's Veronica Falls ties both groups' boo-hoos together with a stylish bow. "Found Love in a Graveyard"is patient zero for this mutated strain of indie-pop and, like other songs culled from the band's last year of 7-inch singles, is rerecorded here for clarity (death to fuzz for fuzz's sake!). In addition to the "dearly departed"ghost eluding singer Roxanne Clifford's affections, she also falls for a married man and one about to fling himself off "Beachy Head,"the UK's infamous suicide cliff. It's not that she's unlovable, it's just that when you're pursuing the unattainable shit rarely works out. A vital, tongue-in-cheek disappointment flows through all of these songs. As Clifford puts it, "I've got a bad feeling, and it's not going away."While that sour uniformity of sentiment gives the album its personality, the sound changes up enough to keep it interesting. "Stephen" is crisp but wispy. The guitar rush present in "Right Side of My Brain"and several others is much tougher than you might be expecting (never quite "noisy"though, an important distinction). "Come on Over,"the record's purposefully inviting closer, stretches out a bit to hit both poles—skipping then racing then skipping again. Some lovely bad mood comfort food, this....full text
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