Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls

by Dan Clay Rating:7 Release Date:2011-10-17

Fusing fuzzy guitar and melody used to be Teenage Fanclub's early 90s thing; now everyone seems to be doing it. In the vein of The Jesus & Mary Chain, London's Veronica Falls emerge with their debut showing that, unlike the former, you don't have to be chirpy with it too.

Nowhere is that more evident than on opener 'Found Love in a Graveyard', a gloomy tale of encounters with the supernatural which suggests gloomy and bleak is what turns these guys on. However 'Right Side of My Brain' has a lively melody and 'Misery' a plucky guitar riff which belies its title. However, the band stalls midway on both 'Bad Feeling' and 'Stephen'; the latter lost in some slow-paced wallowing while an ode to popular suicide spot 'Beachy Head' is as remarkably dark and grungey as you'd expect, despite a fairly sing-along chorus.

Thankfully, 'All Eyes on You' delivers a chugging melody and 'The Box' a nice harmony or two to break the rather melancholy feel at times. Even 'Wedding Day' brings a rhythmic refrain - "So sorry I missed your wedding day/ There's nothing left for me to say" - which manages to stick in the mind while the toe taps too. The penultimate title track does little to linger but closing track 'Come on Over' is well-paced enough to compensate nicely, as one of the better tracks on show.

Such low-fi melodic musing might appeal to a fair few, and certainly fans of early Fanclub will look back and sigh, reminiscing on how their band used to sound. But, despite the melodic touches here and there, Veronica Falls might actually benefit from a more polished sound - it helped the Fannies produce some of their finest albums after all in Grand Prix and Songs from Northern Britain.

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