Posted on February 27th, 2013 (3:28 pm) by Matt Essert

In some ways, the thirteen tracks on Veronica Fall’s new Waiting For Something To Happen play like the straightforward pop music you feel like you’ve heard a million times before. They’re comfortable and good, but somewhat familiar, almost as though if the album were softly playing at a party after you’ve had a few drinks, you’d be sure you heard it years ago. But just when the songs sound almost mundane, Veronica Falls goes in a different direction—one that still fits with their general sonic aesthetic, but that feels totally new and inventive. The best moments on the album fall in line with several trappings of a great pop song, but each feels somehow new and unique, even while pulling in influences from bands that came fifty or sixty years before. Specifically, I feel like I’ve heard the first part of the chorus to “Broken Toy” a million times before, but vocalists Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare take it in a completely unexpected but totally fitting direction. It’s almost a natural inclination for Clifford and Hoare, whose intertwining guitar and vocal lines make up a big part of the band’s generally catchy pop sound.

Compared to the self-titled darker debut album—which the band likes to describe as “graveyard pop” or even “horror rock”—the sophomore follow-up Waiting For Something To Happen has a noticeably more twee sound (as a musical label, twee is something of a scarlet letter, something bands try to avoid these days, especially in the UK, but when honed into well-made pop songs, there’s no reason why it really has to lend itself to any negative connotations). Unlike the debut album, Veronica Falls, Waiting For Something To Happen still feels young, but also just slightly more grown-up, almost like a shift from a dark, emo teenager to a lost but optimistic early-twenty-something (a time at which many of us feel like we’re just waiting for something to happen). To be sure, there are still songs filled with melancholic lyrics and almost ghoulish aural tones, but some of the biting eeriness found of the first album’s songs (which often really did feel like the pop music you’d dance to at a graveyard party) has slightly dissipated in Waiting For Something To Happen. Whether or not on purpose, it’s an intriguing directional shift. After initially garnering attention for this horror pop aesthetic back in 2011, Veronica Falls may be taking a bit of a risk diverting from that path, but perhaps this is just what Veronica Falls has really wanted to do and really wants to be known for; not as that band that makes chilling pop music, but as that band that makes great pop music … or at least tries to (but don’t worry, they’re mostly successful in this).

Having said that, with this shift and shall we say, refocusing of their sound, several of the tracks Veronica Falls’ new record do tend to overlap in certain aspects. While each certainly has its own unique hook or riff, some of the songs feel like they’ve been culled from the same bases and altered just enough so as to be called different. When you’re trying to show people who you are, it’s easy to overstate it by saying it again and again. Perhaps Veronica Falls didn’t go this far, but there’s something to be said for the lack of diversity across this album, especially when compared to their first release, which shares a number of other key similarities. But then again, as a still young and fresh band making exciting pop music like this, there’s no reason why they necessarily hate to stretch themselves too far yet, especially when they’re making of the of the more interesting yet still accessible and upbeat pop music today.

Track List:
1. Tell Me
2. Teenage
3. Broken Toy
4. Shooting Star
5. Waiting For Something To Happen
6. If You Still Want Me
7. My Heart Beats
8. Everybody’s Changing
9. Buried Alive
10. Falling Out
11. So Tired
12. Daniel
13. Last Conversation

Veronica Falls: Waiting For Something To Happen
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

76 / 100
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