Verona Grove, Verona Grove EP

Verona Grove, Verona Grove EP

Verona Grove’s new EP of songs included on the recently released full length The Story Thought Over is pretty typical of recent releases in the modern radio-ready rock genre: it sounds great, great engineer, great mix, mastering, the songs are comprehensively written, perfectly arranged, bright, emotive…but on the whole, it’s predictable and formulaic. That said, it’s no different than ninety-five percent of the modern rock out there, so you have to take it for what it is, a solid, safe, “state of the market” release by a band (and a label) clearly interested in them making it in the music business. Nothing wrong with that, but it does make for pretty light listening.

“Everything You Dreamed” starts the EP strongly, with a clear vocal priming the listener for the Jimmy Eat World/American Hi-Fi basher that follows. “No Words To Say” is a nice mid-tempo rocker, with the typical quiet-verse-loud-chorus structure save for a sappy breakdown in the middle. Not bad, though, other than the lyrics being a bit light in the trunk (a reoccurring issue, but again, standard for the genre). “Revolution” is the most surprising song of the bunch, not only because it’s a relatively strong ballad, but because I found myself humming “6th Avenue Heartache” by the Wallflowers over the verse chord progression. It also sounds like some pretty serious auto-tuning in the chorus; if not, I commend Tony Anders and Charlie Wilhelm, credited with vocal duty. Pop in a gratuitous drum loop between song sections and a nice swirling echo effect on the guitars, and you’ve got a ready-made radio hit. “Goodbye Surrender” seems to stretch Verona Grove’s formula the most, with a cool ’80s retro keyboard riff intro into a solid rocker to finish everything off.

Since I mentioned American Hi-Fi, by the way, I should also note that Jason Sutter, late of that band and Smashmouth, played all the drums on the album. Interesting, as the drumming is probably the most noticeably strong part of the band’s sound. Overall, little urgency, pretty generic, but right in line with the current competition.

[Verona Grove is playing 10/25/07 at Verizon Wireless Theater, with Plain White T’s & Cute Is What We Aim For.]
(Pat's Record Company -- 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1720, Los Angeles, CA. 90036; http://www.patsrecordcompany.com/; Verona Grove -- http://www.veronagroveband.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Thursday, October 18th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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