The 1990s were a bridge for music. Those years brought punk back, saw the proliferation of what would come to be known as grunge and created such a distinct sound that now, a decade and a 1/3 later we can still hearken back to that time’s sound. It’s a distinctive sound to those of us who not only lived through it, but made our bones in that era. Sometimes that sound is hard to describe, but you know it when you hear it.
That’s how I would describe the new Veronica Falls album Waiting for Something to Happen. It has a very nineties Pixies type of sound. There are some very good surf rock and pop elements not least of which being the fantastic vocals of Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare. The way they sync up during their harmonies makes this album very listenable. It’s a happy sounding album with light pop hooks and uncomplicated rhythmic guitar notes for the most part. There is a sound of familiarity throughout the album, a Wes Anderson type of vibe that I really enjoyed.
There is also a draw back to that, though, and that is some of the songs sound very similar and oftentimes within the album the songs that sound different are on the other end of the spectrum sounding almost like they were intended for a different album. “Teenage” is one example of the songs on the album that really stand out as a hit song with all of the elements I described earlier. Yet, when you get to a song like “Shooting Star” there’s a much darker, subdued sound that seems out of place on this particular album.
“Last Conversation” is also a slower song, but feels like it has a place on the album as the pace increases as the song progresses and the pop elements remain. “Shooting Star” seems like the next step in the band’s progression. It would belong on their In Utero, that album where they explore a different way to get their message across. There were a couple of other songs that fell flat to me, as well, but for the most part this album is a very easy listen and something that can be a stepping stone for a very talented band with a bright future, should they choose to progress in the direction they’re headed and not diverge from what the plan seems to be.