Panic pop heaven last night in San Francisco at the Veronica Falls/Brilliant Colors/Golden Grrrls show at The Rickshaw Stop. Having missed the London-based Veronica Falls on numerous occasions when we were nonetheless in the same city, I’d been anticipating this one for a while, particular since I’m a major sucker for their Velvets-meets-Mamas & Papas 60s jangle/ultra-reverb/fast-strum sound.
(Thanks to TheeBoyRacer for the photo of two members of Veronica Falls, by the way….my camera phone shots were atrocious).
Glasglow’s GOLDEN GRRRLS were a spot-on, up-tempo C86 Shop Assistants-style Scottish pop trio, right outta the 80s and from Scotland to boot. Enjoyed them much more than the records I’ve heard thus far & therefore made a vow to check out their new Slumberland release a little closer.
BRILLIANT COLORS were similarly rising above expectations; I’ve always kinda liked their records, with the caveat that the vocals were a little too bathtub sing-songy and not particularly ear-pleasing neither…..and that reservation too was dashed when a nice level of mud was slathered on the mop-top female singer’s mic & they ripped through a rapid series of Buzzcockian 90-second smokers. There’s a dude in this band now; is that something new? Whatever, there’s a lot more heft here than Dynamite Hemorrhage had been aware of in the past.
VERONICA FALLS were every bit as good as I’d hoped, so we’ll call it a terrific night out. They spread the love around both their albums, mostly ignoring the minuscule amount of bum tracks they’ve written in favor of all their great ones, like the new “If You Still Want Me”, which I think might be the best thing they’ve ever done; “Right Side of My Brain”; “Come on Over” and even a encore featuring their first-45 cover of “Starry Eyes”.
It doesn’t do them many favors to call them a “pop” band, as I often do to differentiate them from, say, being a “punk” or a “garage” band. They’re loud, harmonic, fast, lean, tight, fetching, dissonant and pleasant as the day is long. I don’t reckon they’re in any danger of leaping into the mersh zone any time soon, as it’s pretty clear their roots are in the deep underground of post-punk, kiwi pop and the Velvets, and they’ve made no nods to anything approaching a quote-unquote sell-out to date.
Let’s give ‘em a big hand for that and hope they keep up the stellar work.