September 28, 2006

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Veruca Salt, IV
Sympathy For the Record Industry Records, 2006

One of rock n roll’s great unsolved mysteries is What Was So Awesome About “Seether,” and Veruca Salt’s presumably given up on that one too by now, because 12 years and half a new band later they’ve at last corralled the sort of Garbage-like QVC-punk-patter “Seether” tried to get across. Ramp-up single “So Weird” reaches for low-hanging fruit about crummy boyfriends, singer Louise Post rolling her eyes brattily about how Mr. Wonderful is “texting vegan sex again” while he chain smokes, neither of which is all that crummy quite frankly if there’s not enough left on the plat card to take Petunia out for another spontaneous splurge at the mall, but you get the drift. More post-riot-grrrl babbling takes place in “Centipede,” a metaphor for absolutely nada wherein Post’s voice molds itself into a reasonable facsimile of Gwen Stefani’s, at least enough to bend the ears of Avril kids. Random track-surfing from then on uncovers plenty of sub-Zeppelin paleontology, flakey Alanis worship and some screaming. B-

— Eric W. Saeger