Timelessly Kick Ass
There are few things sweeter than watching a beloved band with a rocky history put aside old disagreements and pick back up where they left off without sounding desperate to re-live the glory days. Nineties favorites Veruca Salt have attempted to hit that sweet spot with their newest release Ghost Notes. With their hiatus only starting in 2012, this reunion wouldn’t necessarily be that big of a deal, except they’re doing it with their original lineup, which hasn’t been seen since 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You. With that album as the standard this revival would undoubtedly be held to, Veruca Salt was going to need to find the perfect balance between showing how they’ve matured as musicians and reminding listeners why we all fell in love with them 20 years ago.
Thankfully, any question they wouldn’t meet that standard is blown right out of the water with the opening track “The Gospel According to Saint Me.” Veruca Salt is just as energetic as always, and still has just enough snot in them to live up to their namesake. And the maturity in their sound is definitely not a bad thing. As it was even with earlier records, some of their best songs are the calmer ones like “The Sound of Leaving,” which will certainly pull at a heart string or two. This doesn’t mean they’ve lost their edge though.
Songs like “Empty Bottle” pack enough of a punch to keep fans of their harder stuff engaged, while still highlighting their ability to write beautiful songs. A highlight on the album comes unsurprisingly from one of the singles for album, released in the spring, the incredibly catchy “The Museum of Broken Relationships.” Ghost Notes closes with the fittingly haunting “Alternica,” which will leave you with goosebumps on your neck and maybe even the urge to listen to every single one of these songs over again.
While no song on this album sounds like “Volcano Girls,” that is probably for the better. Sure, a carbon copy of the wild and bratty punk seen on their earlier records would have made for a fun release, but instead we got something better. We got proof the people in Veruca Salt have continued to hone their music in the years of their hiatus and have found a way to fit into the music scene of 2015, not just be a time machine back to 1994. Ghost Notes should be an example for reunion records in the future, and hopefully won’t be the last we see of this timelessly kick ass band.