Veruca Salt: Nina Gordon, Louise Post (vocals, guitar); Steve Lack (bass); Jim Shapiro (drums, background vocals).
Recorded at Idful Music, Chicago, Illinois.
Remember Veruca Salt? She was the brat in CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY who was sent down the bad egg chute, screaming, "I want the whole world, and I want it NOW!!!" This time, Veruca is back in the form of a band (in the shape of a cuddly media package) and armed with one of the most hyped records of 1994. As a result, the single "Seether," from their debut album, AMERICAN THIGHS, charted on Billboard and received national airplay before anyone could buy it.
With hooks as gleaming as the stars shooting off of Wonder Woman's teeth, Veruca Salt powers past Breeders comparisons which are on track, but only halfway there. Instead of the Breeders' surf rock noodling, Veruca Salt dish up straight ahead riffs and meatier, more thought-out solos. Their songs seem a tad more focused, even mean. With lyrics about killing people, and bubbling with rage befitting of Roald Dahl's covetous brat, AMERICAN THIGHS sounds more like the bully compared to the Breeders' pothead road trip, chock full of tongue-in-cheek wordplay. "Number One Blind" praises the virtues of Levelor blinds, "Levelor, which of us is blind?/Levelor left me in the dark." And when they sing about "Spiderman," we relive their comic book childhood right along with them.
AMERICAN THIGHS shows a band with obvious potential, one with an impressive grasp of a rock guitar dynamic which does not cloud their freshness or their indie rock charm.
Rolling Stone (11/3/94, p.100) - 3 Stars - Good - "...THIGH's most piercing songs twist elements of punk and alluring pop around lyrics that explore the underbelly of the American psyche..."
Spin (12/94, p.76) - Ranked #8 in Spin's list of the '20 Best Albums Of '94' - "...fickle, playful melodies slither out of the tunefully rolling guitars so seductively....tunes twitch like rock'n'roll was always meant to twitch..."
Spin (11/94, pp.92-93) - Highly Recommended - "...This band has it all...Between the force and variety of the duo's unison singing and the production's deliberate gravity, these songs orchestrate mood so expertly that they practically conjure a worshipful arena..."
Q (11/94, p.127) - 3 Stars - Good - "...like a cross between Belly and the Stooges: churning guitar riffs and sweetly melodic female vocals. Less sloppy and characterful than the Breeders...just Pixies-by-numbers..."
Alternative Press (11/94, p.103) - "...Veruca Salt have their ears to the stereo, listening to crucial inflections and production techniques from the Breeders, and the art of the power chord from Nirvana and L7..."
Melody Maker (10/8/94, p.38) - Recommended - "...Their debut album, awash with trembly guitars that ponder and deliberate each breath, is a delicious insight into the world of symptoms and cures that characterise the frailty of love and life..."
NME (Magazine) (10/8/94, p.43) - 7 - Very Good - "...your appreciation of this meaty debut album will largely depend on whether you consider Kim Deal the Bitch Queen of Post-Nirvana Rock or a Mid-western housewife who got lucky..."