By Josh Schonfeld
Seven long and arduous years have passed since The Veronicas rocked down under with Hook Me Up, the Australian twin duo is back with their self-titled third album. The Veronicas shows a departure from the girl’s signature sound, straying from their pop/rock roots and delving deeper into the electro beats featured on Hook Me Up. This experimental album proves to be a big “screw you” to their former label, which shelved the project indefinitely, fearing the tracks weren’t “radio-friendly.” Much to the chagrin of that former label, The Veronicas Is anything but a failure.
Upon first listen, any casual fan might feel disappointed and underwhelmed over the radical difference in the group’s demeanor. It’s not until the second and third listen that these progressive tracks begin to seep in and breed ecstasy with the unexpected melodies and pulsing rhythm. The album opens with “Sanctified,” an unfamiliar southern dirge featuring a jarring banjo and eerie vocals from the girls.
The album then jumps right into one of the more instant tracks, “Did You Miss Me (I’m a Veronica).” This dance club banger will no doubt be the Australian anthem this summer with the line, “cause down under we don’t take no prisoners, we don’t take no prisoners,” followed by an insanely catchy whistle. Sampling a line from the 1989 cult classic, Heathers, a muffled Winona Ryder proudly states, “I’m a Veronica,” as a wall of noise blasts the ears in the best way possible. The noise level on the album can be issue with other tracks however, with screeching guitars and blaring bass drowning out an otherwise genius melody.
The Veronicas is an interesting mix of old and new, as classic teen rock songs like “If You Love Someone” and “Cruel” stand beside the girls’ first piano ballad, “You Ruin Me,” and the haunting electronica track, “Line of Fire.” It’s impressive how consistent The Veronicas have been throughout the past decade, being able to perfect a specific sound while adding a diverse twist with each album. “Cold” stands out as the most thought-provoking track, as the verses are spoken, not sung, with the girls’ venomous anger over a break up seep into the listener’s own heart.
The Veronicas used their own name as the album title for good reason, as it includes some of the most personal songs of their discography. “You and Me” is a beautiful ode to all the twins out there about growing up together and the bond they will always share as an acoustic guitar plucks away. “You Ruin Me” remains their most courageous single to date, as it chronicles a manipulative relationship from start to finish with just a piano and some violins as backup. It has now become one of their best-selling singles of their career, spending #1 in Australia for three weeks back in October.
From the killer harmonies to the sometimes-jarring instrumentals, The Veronicas proves that the girls still got it, even after all this time. With such outstanding tracks as “Did You Miss Me (I’m a Veronica)” and “You Ruin Me,” it’s clear that The Veronicas will be around for at least another decade, if not longer.