Dusted Reviews

Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Veronica Falls

Album: Waiting For Something To Happen

Label: Slumberland

Review date: Feb. 12, 2013

When their self-titled debut started making the rounds last year, Veronica Falls caught some flack for being too familiar, too derivative of C-86 and first generation Slumberland. To be fair, Roxanne Clifford, Patrick Doyle, Marion Herbain and James Hoare certainly take their fair share of cues from the aforementioned powderpuffs, but despite its featherweight touch, a lot of that album ended up sticking with me. Not every song was a knockout, but the ones that were (“Wedding Day,” “Come On Over”) ended up edging their way to the top of my most-played in 2011 — the true test of a pop song’s mettle.

Waiting For Something To Happen picks up right where we left off, which in this case is mostly for the best. Certain formulas collapse under too much scrutiny, and Veronica Falls seem to understand the merits of simplicity in their chosen field. The fey pop frame is a delicate creature — too much fretting can stamp out the innocent charm that the success of this approach relies on. Imagine if The Pastels had put more effort into their sound: Game over!

In the case of Veronica Falls, a simple formula does not equate to lack of effort. No one’s going to herald Waiting For Something To Happen as a great leap forward, but there’s a subtle refinement in approach happening for the attentive of ear. Clifford and Hoare’s interweaving/locking vocals and guitar lines are richer here and function like separate hands of the same creature, communicating with each other in a wholly intuitive way. Melodic lines trace flight paths around each other, momentarily linking up when heavy lifting is required, then shoving off on their own course again.

The group utilizes this deepening confidence to extend their reach beyond basic jangle-pop into more considered depths of mid-tempo balladry. One such instance, “Daniel,” works delightfully, bending notes on a riff that would make Sterling Morrison proud. Mostly though, Waiting For Something To Happen continues to play to Veronica Fall’s strongest suit: hard-strumming toe-tappers that have the power to really ignite in a live setting. “Teenage,” a flawlessly executed ode to young enchantment immediately asserts its place with an unshakeable hook that displays Veronica Falls in full command of their developing melodic prowess. Even better may be “Buried Alive,” which likens infatuation to live interment. It’s a point-by-point illustration of the dexterity with which this group can navigate the trappings of twee without letting things turn into a Care Bear pillow fight: “I wanna get sick / I wanna catch everything you’ve ever caught / I wanna get shipped / Out to sea / Don’t wait for me.”

Dig a hole, lay down, and get smothered.

By Jon Treneff

Other Reviews of Veronica Falls

Veronica Falls

Read More

View all articles by Jon Treneff

Find out more about Slumberland

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.