As confessed in the song ‘Volcano Girls’ the seether is clearly Louise Post. Even after stepping out from behind the name Veruca Salt for Post’s debut solo album Sleepwalker (El Camino Media), the DNA of the band can be heard all over this album. The youthful enthusiasm that drove the nineties band still empowers this album, making it clear that she still has it.
The first two songs are the kind of anthemic alt. rock that vaulted Veruca Salt to heavy radio rotation in their heyday. When American Thighs came out in 1994, I liked the fact that it rocked out almost as well as any grunge band at the time, and was not the typical estrogen fest being marketed on “alternative” radio at the time. Veruca Salt was one of those bands that if you just judged them by their radio singles, you would not have a fair estimation of what they actually did as a band.
It is the broader spectrum of their former dynamic range that this album is built upon.
Perhaps even Louise might object to being measured against her old band, but the reality of the situation is Veruca Salt’s American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You albums are what set the bar for her as a musician. Still intact is the attitude that was under the sugarcoating of Post’s voice.
This album however does not set out to solely serve as a continuation of Veruca Salt’s legacy. She deviates into things like moody pop on ‘All Messed Up’. Sometimes these side quests are more focused than others. My present musical tastes fall closer to the darker post-punk tension that fuels the verses of ‘Killer’. The chorus bursts into something that would not have been out of place on Eight Arms to Hold You.
She balances out the forays into experimental pop songs with more rocking anthems. Playing around with pop sounds pays off on the song ‘Secrets’ with the key to this depending on the guitar to remain the centerpiece and other sounds just coloring in the gaps behind it. ‘Don’t Give Up’ works off of a Smashing Pumpkins-like movement to the verses, not afraid to wander off into a languid ballad in order to contrast the upbeat mood that is the prevailing force of the album.
Don’t expect 1997 or nostalgia, and allow the songs to grow in you and the overall feel of these songs is not a drastic departure from what Louise Post used to do. Fans of her previous band can still find plenty to embrace if they are willing to accept that Post has continued to evolve creatively.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10