Category: Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt – Eight Arms to Hold You

ARTIST: Veruca Salt                            VerucaSalt-EightArmsToHoldYou

TITLE: Eight Arms to Hold You

YEAR RELEASED: 1997

CHART ACTION: #55

SINGLES: Volcano Girls (#8 Alternative, #9 Mainstream), Shutterbug (#39 Mainstream), Straight (#38 Mainstream)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nah, it kinda tanked

LINEUP: Nina Gordon, Louise Post, Jim Shapiro, Steve Lack

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The second album curse? Nah, they did just as well as their first album, but didn’t have that breakout track.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s not like Veruca Salt tried to rewrite “Seether” 14 times, but at times that monster alternative radio smash colors this album fairly or unfairly. Nina Gordon and Louise Post, both writers and singers, didn’t really write a bad track here…

…but nothing made you sit up and go wow. Post’s vocals on her songs can get a little unhinged at times, for good and bad. Both Gordon and Post infuse each track with their harmonies and hooks. But nothing really had that monster something-or-other to make a great impact.

“Shutterbug” may be their best track here but it was an unusual choice for a single and a (very expensive) video with a definite soft / loud component and not very commercial compared to the other ‘alternative’ cuts in 1997 (but it’s a dang good track).

Track for track, it’s better than their debut, but it doesn’t have that high point, so you’re left with a record that’s just as good as their first. That’s not bad, not at all, but it ground them to a halt due to lack of sales and support.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They got to play “Shutterbug” on SNL, but since Sting was the host, he had the other musical slot so they only played one song 220px-Blow_It_Out_Your_Ass_It's_Veruca_Salt

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but they released an EP between albums called Blow It Out Your Ass, It’s Veruca Salt that’s better than both their full length albums, and has a cut (“Shimmer Like a Girl”) that should have been a huge thing (well, if people could deal with feedback, and they should). Sadly, it’s out of print and not even bonus tracked. Find it on the You Tube. 

GRADE: B: Maybe they should have kept back those four EP tracks…maybe. Anyway, it’s not that bad, really, because I know you’ve heard different.

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Veruca Salt – American Thighs

ARTIST: Veruca Salt VerucaSalt-AmericanThighs

TITLE:  American Thighs

YEAR RELEASED: 1994

CHART ACTION: #69 US, #1 US Heatseekers, #47 UK

SINGLES: Seether (#8 US Modern Rock), Number One Blind (#20 Modern Rock, #68 UK), Victrola (#88 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: All Hail Me (it was a video)

LINEUP: Nina Gordon, Louise Post, Jim Shapiro, Steve Lack

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Rocking debut from Chicago band proved to be a radio hit, due to “Seether”, which was all over alternative radio.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Veruca Salt came out of nowhere in 1994 as “Seether” blasted all over the place. While the single is exciting and visceral, the album it’s from has some cuts that are spotty.

The duo of Nina Gordon and Louise Post led the band, and each wrote songs separately. Gordon’s songs, (“Seether”, “Forsythia”, “Victrola”, especially) seemed to be more straight forward and had a rock edge. Post’s songs were darker, and except for “All Hail Me” and “Spiderman ‘79” seemed to get lost in a slow tempo mush.

There was some backlash, because the Chicago indie community eats itself whole, and they came out of nowhere to strike it big and get a major label deal after “Seether” hit. The record and the band didn’t really deserve it, since there was a lot to work with – they just needed to be more consistent.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was released on a small independent label in late September 1994, but within two months DGC records picked it up.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: One cut was CD only – which by 1994 really meant it wasn’t deluxe or anything.

GRADE: B: Some great alternative rock songs, some dour sluggish songs. It’s decent enough for consideration.