La Musica Mediocre
Are you ready to kind of sort of maybe rock? Neither is Verbena on their third album La Musica Negra. La Musica Negra lacks the kind of force in any direction to make it a great record. It has elements of soul, blues and rock but never utilizes enough of any of them that much real heart comes across. Verbena was once christened four short years ago as a new hope for rock and roll by everyone from the major music magazines to Dave Grohl, who coincidentally produced their last album, Into the Pink.Into the Pink showed promise due to the dual vocals of singer guitarist Scott Bondy and second guitarist/vocalist Anne Marie Griffin. However, Griffin has since left the band and her absensce is noticed. Griffinâ€šÃ„Ã´s gritty yet articulate vocals gave Verbena just the right kind of spark to make it special but now without her presence the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s weaknesses are amplified. Sort of like hearing Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains without Layne Staley. The guitar work is merely adequate, the basslines forgettable and the vocals unconvincing. There are moments of quality such as â€šÃ„ÃºWay Out Westâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºCameliaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ but Verbena doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t succeed in pushing their best traits far enough.