Veronica Falls: Veronica Falls – review

(Bella Union)

It's easy enough to pick Veronica Falls' musical antecedents – they are children of mid-80s indiepop, the branch of the family that traced its descent from the Velvet Underground's third album. Guitars are frantically down-strummed, though never fuzzed; percussion sounds as though it's limited to floor tom, snare and tambourine; chord progressions are as instantly familiar as a repeat of Dad's Army. Their twin USPs are, first, their cleverly constructed harmonies, which offset the affectlessness of Roxanne Clifford's voice, and, second, that they eschew the twee and embrace the gothic, be it suicide (Beachy Head), romance with the afterlife (Found Love in a Graveyard), or simply nameless dread (Bad Feeling). In fact, in combining the almost comedically gothic and the poppy, they're oddly reminiscent of some 80s psychobilly bands who were more inspired by the 60s than the 50s, the long-forgotten X-Men, for example. For a group so in thrall to death, there's a surprising amount of life here.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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