'Striking while the iron is still hot' is a sentiment that has been
carried down from musical generation to musical generation. If band
X can make a living, then surely I can if I make music just like them.
And as with every musical fad like this, there are a selected few
that stand out as the founders of the movement, followed by a countless
collection of forgetables that merely exist in the shadows, occasionally
sparking a singular hit before fading off into has-been obscurity.
For this generation, the market has been saturated to death with pop-punk
bands that used to preach teenage angst and misunderstanding, but
now seem more preoccupied with what's the smallest size jeans they
can squeeze into and if their shirts are selling well enough at the
Now yes, this does seem incredibly harsh and unfair and it's not
to say that the musical landscape of today has become dry and arid
(though some may argue so). It's also not to imply that bands like
Wisconsin trio Verona Grove are out to become another mindless
sheep in search of a quick buck, but it does cross one's mind after
hearing the bands four-track EP.
In a genre that has been shoved into the spotlight the past five
years thanks to bands like Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and
Panic! At The Disco, there are very few spots left for up-and-comers
hoping to bask in some of the MTV glory.
And while Verona Grove will surely infiltrate teenager's iPods and
build a reputable fanbase by rocking small venues across the country,
it seems hard to believe that this is the best they could do. Though
nothing is wrong with the four songs of their EP, there is also not
much to actually say about it. Vocals reminiscent of Kenny Vasoli
of The Starting Line, lyrics that reek of youthful cliché
("I wish I may, I wish I might, be the one you take home at night"
from "Everything You Dreamed") and an image as defining
as Hot Topic's online catalogue, leave little in the way of originality.
This is, however, just a four song sample of what is to come from
the band's upcoming full-length disc and for an EP, it sounds incredibly
polished. And "Revolution" does offer some hope for the
Grove, standing out as an above average, piano-guided call-out to
the hopeless teenager in each of us. Now, do they have what it takes
to make a good pop-punk record? Definitely. But the real question
of whether or not they can build upon this EP to make something original
and filled with replay value has yet to be answered. I guess we'll
see on August 21st when their full-length record The Story Thought
Over is due for release.
Curious now? Their EP is available for purchase online, or you could
save your $5 and just visit their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/veronagrove)
where all the songs are available for listening. Good luck Verona
Grove, may the fist-pumping, emo-force be with you.
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