Review by Olivia Wedderburn
Beach pop wonderment Veronica Falls are back with a second studio album “Waiting For Something to Happen” and it certainly delivers. The London based foursome elegantly piece together summer sounds executed to perfection with powerful but pretty songs that are fast in all the right places and consistently smooth. Opening with the riotous “Tell Me” we are thrown straight back into their instantly recognizable style of pitch perfect responses to playful guitar, dragging inspiration from 90s alternative whilst ensuring it stays fitting with the modernity essential to the genre. Slamming seamlessly into “Teenage” – an absolute highlight for me on this album – a catchy yet vaguely sombre track which seems to dissect the brutality and intensity of teenage relationships to a point of perfection whilst killing it with a chorus that reverberates around your head for days.
“Broken Toy” reflects the great age of lo-fi beach pop circa 2009, and hails for a revival that Veronica Falls seem to be executing far better than most trying to aimlessly follow the steps of Best Coast and Real Estate (it doesn’t happen for everyone guys.) We begin to understand that this album is working through some serious themes of romantic abandonment, sometimes the perfect anecdote for a truly great album (N.B. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac).
After a seriously dominant intro the album, VF slows the pace down with a melodic and beautiful song with a truly excellent baseline. I particularly like the deadpan male vocals that feature on “Shooting Star”, the tone touches on the baseline effortlessly and massively works to the audio aesthetic of this track. One thing this album lacks is much differentiation but their well established sound redeems this factor with the albums namesake “Waiting For Something To Happen” bringing vocals that void the listener from any restlessness they may experience. An eerie bridge transcends any flaws found here, with a strong build up of anticipation weaving through the track, subsiding any disappointment. The album is slightly guilty of a couple of filler tracks, “If You Still Want Me”, “Falling Out” and “Everybody’s Changing” being the less impressive numbers, but they are by no mean clangers – they serve a purpose and are fitting with the general theme of the album, even if they are more melancholic pieces that dampen the upbeat vibe.
Absolute favourite track goes to “My Heart Beats”; everything with this song strikes a chord with me. Its DIY fast beat and killer vocals makes it the catchiest number very reminiscent of their first album, and it isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is – an indie anthem. All areas are strong and the layer formation of the music works so well, with even its end being concise and blunt. Other contenders for best track go to “So Tired” and “Last Conversation” that seem to echo bands of past with nuances of everyone from the Dum Dum Girls to The Jesus and Mary Chain. The real strength of this album is the harmonies from Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare, which are really present in these tracks. Though the album screams angst and sad tales of teenage heartbreak (woe is thee) it transcends these mediocre topics and creates its own acceptable self-pitying. “Daniel” is a prime example of this, and I really enjoyed it even if it’s a bit wet.
“Waiting For Something to Happen” has been well produced and conveys a story convincingly through all its mediums, not always an easy task, and VF have dealt very well with a comeback, re-birthing the genre and setting an example for other bands in 2013. Lots of great summer tracks that are somewhat essential to a bands interface these days but also appropriately dreary numbers for those rainy days (lots of them in Manchester).
Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen was released via Bella Union on February 4th 2013. You can buy the album HERE & you can stream to the entire record via Pitchfork HERE. Veronica Falls will play The Deaf Institute on Sunday 20th April 2013. Tickets are available HERE.
You can read more articles from Olivia Wedderburn via her Blogspot HERE.