Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen (Album Review 2013)

Sometimes the difficult second album really isn't that difficult. London's Veronica Falls seem to have followed their promising eponymous 2011 début with such effortless precision that Waiting For Something To Happen sounds like a classic mid-80s indie guitar album. Far from the smouldering wet ashes of punk and the impending pomp and arrogance of Britpop, this quartet of lead vocalist Roxanne Clifford, guitarist/vocalist James Hoare, bassist Marion Herbain and drummer/vocalist Patrick Doyle are reminding us of a world of shimmering guitar hooks, delicious three-part harmonies and sparkling, vibrant pop songs.

Waiting For Something To Happen kicks off in style with the wonderful Tell Me, the pure combination of velvety vocals and looping guitars, accelerating out of the first minute on a wave of pounding drums. The stark, awkward, Gothic rhythms of the band's début are gone, now replaced with a shining energy and clear confidence. Recent single Teenage is just as arresting, a tale of discovery and love, memories of 'driving home' and letting your better half 'listen to the music they like', followed by the excellent Broken Toy - the best pop song on the album and some of the best lines. 'If you don't care, you'll never care; if you don't care now, you'll never know how' leads to a punchy, yet downbeat, chorus and a quick guitar break before the next. This is slick, uncluttered song writing.

The highlight of the album is the glorious trilogy of the title track - another perfect blend of guitars and vocals all brought together with the deft percussion, the darker feel of If You Still Want Me - with Clifford and Hoare providing their best vocal arrangement over the thundering guitars, and My Heart Beats - another excellent vocal and chorus. In the second half of Waiting For Something To Happen, Everybody's Changing and the brilliant Falling Out, with its verse-hook-chorus structure, dropping then rising, continue the charm. These quickly make way for the final duo of the beautiful Daniel, a three-vocal ballad set to a rippling guitar track, and closer Last Conversation, a slow-building epic (at nearly four minutes, the longest song on the album) of spellbinding vocals wound into another gorgeous arrangement.

It's not every day that a band make an album that captures the body and soul of a band as perfectly as Veronica Falls' Waiting For Something To Happen. Clifford and Hoare blend effortlessly with guitars and vocals to create new instruments and textures, while the production is light and adds a brightness to the songs. This is the sound of a band proving they are much bigger, and better, than the sum of their parts; a proficient and skilful machine of old souls and new minds.
-- CS

No comments: