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 Scott Creney

Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen (Slumberland/Bella Union)

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veronica falls

By Scott Creney

They found love in a graveyard, but we still don’t know how they came by their complete and total lack of imagination. Ladies and gentlemen it’s Veronica Falls.

I don’t know what’s sadder — the fact that this sounds so similar to the first one[1] or the fact that it sounds a tiny amount better. It’s got a bit more backbone than they had back in 2011, but not much. We’re talking like at most half a vertebrae. If they continue to grow at this rate, the 2030 edition of VF will be a very fearsome beast indeed.

But for now we’re stuck with an indiepop record so narrow, so rigid in its adherence to the form, that it has to be heard to be believed.

Here’s the first video. The song’s called ‘Teenage’ but with all its talk of waiting and holding hands, it sounds even younger. Or maybe Veronica Falls grew up in a sexually null world of fundamentalist Christians and purity rings. I mean, I spent my teenage years looking like an extremely tall and pale famine victim with bad hair and zits, and even I got further than holding hands.[2]

Seriously, there’s enough childhood references here[3] to get a man put on some kind of predator list. The rest of the lyrics are endless you’s and me’s about love. No, not love exactly, more like infatuation, crushes, usually frustrated. Honestly, the album’s so filled with this sort of gosh-darn gee-whiz sense of wonderment that at a certain point I become convinced this is all a satire or a parody, some kind of indiepop Spinal Tap. Either that or they are either stupid. Or pandering. Or maybe they’re just doing what they think they’re supposed to do. That’s how you get ahead these days, isn’t it?

Hey it’s not about the words, man. Why are you getting so hung up on words anyway? It’s supposed to be pop music. Well what should I focus on, the music? It has none of the bite, the arsenic in the sugar of, say, Heavenly. Let alone The Primitives. Let alone The Darling Buds. Hell, I can think of 50 indiepop records better than this one and hopefully so can you. And VF is a duller, simpler, weaker version of all of them.

But I guess some folks don’t want to be surprised. They just want the thing that they want — music as a trip to the supermarket. And a well-made product is a product worth buying. And anything unexpected or strange just means someone isn’t good at their job.

WFSTH is best listened to three minutes at a time. Like a bag of decades-old Smarties, an entire 36 minutes of consumption is guaranteed to sicken.

Also, if you’re going to insist that you’re more influenced by The Velvet Underground than C-86, a claim that VF has made in the past — YOU SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE NOTICED SOMEWHERE ALONG THAT WORDS ARE IMPORTANT. Or maybe it’s just like when the guy from Stone Temple Pilots insisted he’d never heard of Pearl Jam (he was just influenced by The Doors), or when the guy from Bush said he was more influenced by the Pixies than Nirvana. Maybe Veronica Falls are totally fucking full of shit.

Sanitized for your protection, satirized for my amusement, VF seeks not to shock, surprise, or even disappoint. It exists simply to be bought or sold, no fetishes beyond the marketplace. I’m willing to accept what all this says about me. Are the VF enthusiasts prepared to accept what this says about them?

The cover looks nice though. And so does the band. Everything’s exactly where it’s supposed to be, right brand of guitars and everything. It’s almost like someone planned everything in advance. God, how fucking exciting. No wonder the last album reached #150 on the UK charts.

 


[1] Anyone want to imagine what a 5th VF album might sound like? Anyone?

[2] But not much further, let’s be honest.

[3] Aside from the aforementioned: toys, shooting stars, 4-leaf clovers, hearts, moons, (let’s just go ahead and say that all the Lucky Charms marshmallows get mentioned at some point), dreams…you get the idea.

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