Veara – [Album]

Saturday, 22 May 2010

It's funny how things can change and evolve, and sometimes all it can take is a slightly different perspective to spur it. As a perfect example, just look at twenty-first century punk rock. Over the last few years, the genre has become so institutionalized that some quadrants of it have mutated wildly as perception in-breeds it; like when punk fused with pop and hard rock years ago, it marked the birth of emo. When punk fused with pop, hard rock, hardcore and metal, it became screamo. No one seemed to notice that there wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two on the most basic of levels, and so both emo and sceamo had years to get situated in the pop pantheon and grow to become regarded as mutually exclusive institutions with their own histories and myths. Now, those institutions are combining t create all-new (if slightly inbred) hybrids; it forces questions like, “What do you get if you cross pop-punk, emo and screamo with just the smallest grain of melodic hardcore?” Well, realistically, you'd start to tread backwards to a few of the progenitors of all of those sounds, before the whole mess started to splinter in the first place – like when Blink 182 had the world's attention. That's old news now though right? This new stuff can't be the same because it's all-new – it's called pop-mosh.

Whether you agree with the semantics or not, it's near-impossible to argue with the quality of any of the eleven songs that make up What We Left Behind, Veara's Epitaph debut. By weaving some of the best licks and lyrical motifs that such bands at Fallout Boy, Lit and Blink 192 turned into platinum fare years ago into one seamless run-time, Veara successfully manages to make the old and time-honored sound new and fresh as, through songs including “We Have A Body Count,” “Pull Your Own Weight,” “Only Famous People Get Famous” and “Getting Kicked In The Face Has Never Been So Much Fun,” Veara plays with an excitement that says this is the band's first record and, no matter what your initial thoughts might be, you've never heard this music this way – as far as the band knows. And, you know? Whether that's actually true or not doesn't matter because that enthusiasm is infectious; the songs are wound tight, the melodies are solid and the themes (check out the defining “You always seem to give up trying/You never live up to what you say” line in “Pull Your Own Weight”) are pretty classic pop-punk. That said, as long as you nevermind the earnest salesmanship with which the band has been presented, Veara can win your heart on its own merits.

The only trick here will be actually letting it stand on its' own. Because there is a familiarity to what Veara is doing that stands at odds with 'the next big pop-mosh' label attached to them, eventually someone's going to call bullshit on the new generic jargon. Hopefully by the time that happens though, Veara will be miles from reaping any of the fallout. The songs on What We Left Behind are strong enough to build a name on without falling back on community for support, so here's hoping they get the shot they deserve.



What We Left Behind
comes out on May 25, 2010 through Epitaph Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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