The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Veronica Falls: Veronica falls (2011)

Para hablar de el debut homónimo de Veronica Falls (2011) he de reconocer dos cuestiones: La primera, que de entrada el disco me costó mucho digerirlo. Segunda, que una vez asimilado, Veronica Falls es un álbum que te engancha, especialmente la primera mitad del mismo. Su sencillez instrumental, un tanto machacona al principio, se convierte en una de sus virtudes. Con las primeras escuchas, las sensaciones además fueron algo encontradas, porque el disco combina de igual forma Lo-Fi (Stephen) que actitud Post-Punk (Beachy head) o sonidos más contemporáneos con gentes como The Pain of Being Pure at Heart (Misery, The box) con la vieja escuela C86 (Bad feeling). Pero todo ello se adereza con otras canciones que son mucho más conservadoras en sus planteamientos, y que me evocaban viejos sonidos de la Costa Oeste, gracias a las sublimes armonías vocales chica-chico, llevadas a un extremo de sutileza difícilmente imaginables en los tiempos que corren (The fountain). Y ésta es una de las mayores virtudes del álbum: las armonías vocales son impresionantes. No hay una sola canción del disco en el que no rayen a una altura más que notable. Los temas son, además, grandes composiciones en su mayoría, y elevan el nivel de Veronica Falls (2011) hasta una altura notable que roza el sobresaliente. Me diréis que no es un disco demasiado original, aunque la originalidad del álbum estriba precisamente en la inteligente mezcla de elementos, consiguiendo un sonido, dentro de sus limitaciones, bastante clásico.

Veronica Falls – Veronica falls (2011)

“At the end of the video for Veronica Falls’ “Bad Feeling“, Roxanne Clifford, the group’s bob-haired singer/guitarist, clad in a dashingly fey polka-dot blouse, picks up an antique book– the ultimate twee signifier– and lights it on fire. Given indie rock’s recent jangle-pop overload, and the comments that Veronica Falls have made in the press (“people like to romanticize about C86 [but] there were lots of rubbish bands associated with it…”), it’s tempting to wonder aloud: is “Bad Feeling” the C86 version of that video where George Michael goes iconoclastic on us and sets his own leather jacket ablaze?
Well, maybe not, but at the very least it’s a decent visual metaphor for the band’s sound: expertly stagy revivalism with the slightest hint of mutiny. You could have said the same thing of Slumberland labelmates and fellow fresh-faced indie poppers the Pains of Being Pure at Heart when they first burst out the gates with Pastels badges on their sleeves– the quartet’s self-titled debut hits with the same sort of immediacy that that first Pains LP did. Both records do familiar things so well that, occasionally, momentarily, they actually trick you into thinking you’ve never heard anything like them before.
But, of course, you have. In fact, if you’ve been paying any attention to Glasgow/London hybrid Veronica Falls, you’ve actually heard some of these very songs before: The single “Found Love in a Graveyard” made the rounds almost two years ago, and then came “Beachy Head”, “Bad Feeling“, and “Come on Over” earlier this year. But after a run of strong 7″‘s, their self-titled debut finally confirms that Veronica Falls are more than a singles band. Though they operate with a pretty limited sonic palette (boy/girl harmonies; dueling, reverb-drenched guitars; lots of tambourine), there’s a sustained momentum over these 12 tracks that even manages to bring in some unexpected influences– “Beachy Head” sounds like a zombified Mamas and the Papas thrashing at surf-punk guitars with shards of glass.
Given the group’s penchant for ghosts and reverb, it’s tempting to grab for a familiar collection of low-hanging adjectives: dreamy, ethereal, haunting– except that, actually, Veronica Falls is none of these things. There’s a striking physicality to these songs, and Guy Fixsen and Ash Workman’s production makes every tambourine beat hit with the clarity of a shattering window. The guitar sound is immaculate: Clifford and James Hoare’s strings don’t jangle so much as bristle– taut chords that dart restlessly in and out of each other’s way. There’s a clarity of texture– a specificity even– to every element of the band’s sound. Which makes it something of an anomaly: shoegaze that looks you square in the eye.
Thematically speaking, shit’s dark. There’s a song called “Misery”, there are not one but two songs in which the narrator’s lover might be a ghost (“Graveyard”, “Bad Feeling”), and though “Beachy Head” might sound like a carefree postcard from indie rock’s current backdrop of choice, it’s actually about jumping off a cliff and drowning yourself. Thankfully, the record ends on a high in every sense: “Come on Over” is perhaps the most hopeful– and best– track the band’s got to their name. “Crimson and clover, I’ll touch your shoulder,” Clifford sings over the mounting tension of a furiously strummed guitar. It’s the Veronica Falls aesthetic in miniature: the ghosts of pop past conjured convincingly and intimately enough to feel like flesh and blood” (

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29 diciembre, 2011 - Posted by | Veronica Falls

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    Comentario por John Riley | 28 diciembre, 2011 | Responder


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