Monday, 24 August 2015

Trouble in Toyland

In what has so far been an amazing year of band reunions, it seems not all of them have gone as smoothly as hoped. Six months after playing their first show together in 19 years, Babes in Toyland have parted ways with bassist Maureen Herman.

Herman broke the news herself on Facebook, stating: "Due to personal differences, Kat (Bjelland) and Lori (Barbero) have made the decision to tour with someone else. I wish them nothing but the best and hope the tour is a huge success."

Clara Salyer (Prissy Clerks, Total Babe) will be playing with Bjelland and Barbero on the band's upcoming US tour. 

It's a shame to see her go, especially so soon after the band reuniting. I'm so grateful I got to see them perform in Manchester together. They put on an amazing show and I was lucky enough to meet them all afterwards.

Herman is currently working on her memoir, titled It's a Memoir, Motherfucker, which is due out next year - personally, I can't wait!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

There's always a bit of a risk as a music fan when a band you like get back together and decide to record a new album; will nostalgia prove too strong and result in a watered down version of what onces was or, worse still, will the result be an ill-judged attempt at keeping up with current music trends? Thankfully, the answer in this case is neither of those two options.

Ghost Notes plays like a natural progression of where the band would have went after 1997's Eight Arms to Hold You, a continuation rather than an attempt at recapturing.

What made Veruca Salt so great has always been the collaboration between Nina Gordon and Louise Post; the harmonies, the undeniable chemistry that couldn't help but shine through on record. That chemistry has seemed to, somehow, have grown even stronger as they explore the emotional scars of the past 19 years. I no longer find myself mentally classifying tracks as "Louise Songs" and "Nina Songs", their input here is seamless, examining a period that is both a shared experience yet unique to each of them.

"Empty Bottle" serves as the album's epicentre, its verses, sad and lamenting, building up to the adrenalin fuelled chorus.

Ghost Notes is an album of both sugary sweetness and deep catharsis; the lyrics are, at times, painful yet the relief brought by their inception is obvious. Already-fans of the band will love this, and if you've yet to hear Veruca Salt then this is as good a place to start as any.

Rating: 4.5/5
Standout Tracks: Empty Bottle, Laughing in the Sugar Bowl, Alternica