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