Don't be fooled, they can rock out hard enough.
"Veruca Salt was built around a pair of singer-songwriters, one of whom was talented. Nina Gordon wrote catchy songs and sang them adorably; Louise Post wrote plodding songs and sang them poorly."
Veruca Salt are an Alternative Rock
band from Chicago
, formed in 1993. Named after a character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
, the band had some initial success in The Nineties
before fading out of view.
The first and most famous incarnation of the band coalesced around Louise Post and Nina Gordon, who both played guitars, sang, and wrote almost all the band's songs (barring some covers and a co-write). Soon enough, they filled out the band with bassist Steve Lack and Nina's brother Jim Shapiro on drums, and gained a record deal with Minty Fresh Records. Their first album, American Thighs
, boasted their trademark Pixies-influenced Power Pop
and became reasonably successful, chiefly due to Gordon's "Seether" being released as a single and Brad Wood
production helping it appeal to the alt-rock audience.
After buying time with a noisier, harsher EP called Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt
, the band moved to Geffen Records
and began working on their next album with Bob Rock, apparently because they were impressed by his production for Metallica
's Self-Titled Album
. The result was Eight Arms to Hold You
, which once again became successful due to a Gordon lead single, namely "Volcano Girls" (the Colbert Bump
it got from being in the credits of Jawbreaker
may have helped). However, the band failed to sustain its momentum as subsequent singles from the album tanked on the charts and Shapiro left after the album was released, being replaced with Stacy Jones for the supporting tour.
The band acrimoniously collapsed only a year later as Gordon left with Lack after arguments with Post. Post reorganised the band, bringing in new members to an almost Revolving Door Band
-like degree, and has since recorded two more albums: Resolver
, which got a lukewarm reception due to its unfocused nature and Author Tract
-like tendency to throw potshots
at Gordon and various other targets, and IV
First incarnation (1993-1998):
- Nina Gordon - guitar, vocals
- Louise Post - guitar, vocals
- Steve Lack - bass
- Jim Shapiro - drums, occasional vocals (1993-1997)
- Stacy Jones - drums (1997-1998)
- Louise Post - guitar, vocals
- Stephen Fitzpatrick - guitar (1998-present)
- Suzanne Sokol - bass (1998-2000)
- Gina Crosley - bass (2000-2005)
- Solomon Snyder - bass (2005)
- Nicole Fiorentino - bass (2005-present, also playing with The Smashing Pumpkins)
- Jimmy Madla - drums (1998-2005)
- Michael Miley - drums (2005)
- Kellii Scott - drums (2005-present)
- American Thighs (1994)
- Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt EP (1996)
- Eight Arms to Hold You (1997)
- Resolver (2000)
- Officially Dead EP (2003)
- Lords of Sounds and Lesser Things (2005)
- IV (2006)
Tropes used by Veruca Salt:
- Brother-Sister Team: The band's first incarnation; Jim only joined because he owed his sister a favour.
- The Cameo: They cameoed as a replacement band in the video for "Painted Soldiers" by Pavement.
- Cover Version: "Bodies" by The Sex Pistols, "My Sharona" by The Knack, "Burned" by Neil Young.
- Epic Rocking: "25" and "Disinherit" are longer than their usual songs.
- Metal Scream: Occasionally... "Shimmer Like a Girl", "I'm Taking Europe With Me", "Straight" and "Earthcrosser", for starters.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: From 1 ("Benjamin") to 4 ("Volcano Girls"), at least for the band's first incarnation.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Mostly present and accounted for.
- Pun-Based Title: Resolver.
- Record Producer: Brad Wood (American Thighs), Steve Albini (Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt), Bob Rock (Eight Arms to Hold You), and self-production since.
- Revival By Commercialization: "Volcano Girls" in the opening credits of Jawbreaker.
- Shout Out: Let's see... American Thighs is a line from "You Shook Me All Night Long", Eight Arms to Hold You was the working title for Help!, Resolver is another Beatles pun, Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt could be a reference to Nevermind the Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols, the bridge of "Number One Blind" quotes The Pixies' "Stormy Weather", and "Volcano Girls" simultaneously referenced "Glass Onion" and their first hit with the verse:
I told you about the Seether before
You know the one that's neither or nor
Well here's another clue if you please,
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Aurora".
- Take That: There's quite a bit of it on Resolver.