Music

Let's Talk About Veruca Salt

Let's Talk About Veruca Salt

It's been 20 years since the pop rock band Veruca Salt hit the scene, sweetening up the grungy mainstream-alt-rock pot, but never getting too saccharine. The charming Chicago four-piece lit up the 1990s with Steve Lack on bass, Jim Shapiro on drums, and singer/guitarists Louise Post and Nina Gordon. Post and Gordon met in 1993 (introduced by their mutual bud, actress Lili Taylor) and alternated between lead and backup, never collaborating. Their first album, American Thighs, sparkles with band synchronicity, including their megahit "Seether."

Unfortunately, the two frontwomen had a falling-out and Gordon broke off to pursue her solo career after their well-received second album, Eight Arms to Hold You—and after a revolving door of replacements, Veruca Salt disbanded. Now reunited with the original lineup intact for the first time since the '90s, hatchets have been buried and the band has released a limited-edition 10-inch featuring "Seether" and two brand-new songs.

So what do you think about Veruca Salt? Maybe Eight Arms to Hold You was your ultimate high-school jam or "Seether" was the overplayed mainstream alt-rock disaster you'd skip. I polled a few people in the music scene to see what they thought:

"I knew this girl in college who had a tattoo of the octopus on that Veruca Salt album cover. I was just wondering how she felt about that now. She stole my friend's boyfriend." —Stacy Peck, Pony Time

"Ummm, what is there to hate? That record American Thighs is flawless. Like, they have a song on the Jawbreaker soundtrack!" —Nicole Synder, Slutever

"I saw them open up for Hole at the Moore, then in Paris with the Muffs. Probably both in '95. I remember Nina got pissed at a French guy for calling her 'baby,' and yelled 'DO I LOOK LIKE A FUCKING BABY?!'" —Emily Coyote, Os Coyotes

"I used to wait around for Marco to play the 'Seether' single (on Minty Fresh) so that I could tape it. Mini obsession." —Larry Mizell Jr., The Stranger, KEXP, and a million other great things

"Right before I left LA in March, I was practicing at a facility called D-Lux in Echo Park, and Veruca were our neighbors. They'd rehearse in the room next door to us. Used to sneak around outside the door and listen." —Kevin Maliszewski, recording engineer

"I don't even know what their songs are. I mixed them up with someone else. Wait, who did 'Volcano Girls'? Don't they just sound like Elastica or something?" —M.I. Birdsall, Don't Stop Believin' Records recommended

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Comments (12) RSS

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1
Boring band. Another wanna be alt band in a long line following the Nirvana success at the start of the 1990's. Record companies were giving record deals to just about any band that could slightly carry a tune, look 'cute' and act alternative. Thin, watery crap.
Posted by blandmusicimpressestheblandminds on June 19, 2014 at 2:14 PM · Report this
emma's bee 2
Loved them! Saw them while living in Charleston SC ca. 1995. Excellent live show. Charleston was a great place to see live music, after living in the upper Midwest for years, because people were so much shorter there. (More stereotypically polite, too).
Posted by emma's bee on June 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 3
For years, I thought that "Volcano Girls" was by Letters to Cleo, which clearly is some sort of ultimate 90s trivia failure.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on June 22, 2014 at 4:56 PM · Report this
yelahneb 4
Like them, love them, wanna be them.
Posted by yelahneb http://www.strangebutharmless.com on June 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Knat 5
I just discovered them through the miracle of Pandora. I haven't heard more than a handful of tracks so far, but I like what I've encountered. I had no idea I was discovering them so late.
Posted by Knat on June 22, 2014 at 5:03 PM · Report this
6

Eight Arms to Hold You was the original title of "Hard Days Night".

Or does everyone know this...

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on June 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM · Report this
7
@6 - It's the original title of "Help!," not "A Hard Day's Night."
Posted by humma kavula on June 22, 2014 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 8
Wow, Veruca Salt at the Tractor? I remember seeing them at The Gorge one summer with a couple of other bands at the apex of their popularity. I really loved "American Thighs." I was a little let down by the follow up album though.
Posted by Gern Blanston on June 22, 2014 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Post_Mortem 9
They bored me when they were popular.

I never got along with people who liked them--though that probably wasn't much of a factor--and I guess those are the folks who'd be interested in this nostalgia tour. Can't even conjure animus towards the Veruca Salt fans I disliked. That was a long time ago. I almost hope they have fun.
Posted by Post_Mortem http://pointlessman.blogspot.com/ on June 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM · Report this
Keekee 10
WoW! These guys were mainstream tripe back in the day. Twenty years later doesn't make it any better. I can actually recall when the Stranger wouldn't even pay attention to this type of fluff.
Posted by Keekee on June 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 11
I always thought Veruca Salt was boring, middle-of-the-road crap. I just listened to "Seether" to see if the track would benefit from hindsight.

Nope. It's still boring, middle-of-the-road crap.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM · Report this
12
O-o-o-o-ooooooo-kay. I'm embarrassed.
I should have figured this was a BAND!

I got all excited thinking about the atrociously spoiled rotten little rich bitch from famed children's book author, Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and the delightful 1971 David Wolper screen adaptation (Mr. Dahl provided the screenplay), 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" brilliantly starring Gentleman Gene Wilder in the title role. Ahhhh, precious youthful memories.....

Anyway, although I haven't actually heard this band, I'll bet they're bitchin' good (recordings in stores? Tower Records?). Thanks for allowing me to reminisce, and everyone keep on rockin'!
Posted by auntie grizelda on June 23, 2014 at 7:25 PM · Report this

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