Review Summary: Just in time for the season
Summer’s here, and as was the case recently with years past, it almost seems like pop-punk is now more relevant
to listen to than it was in the other seasons. Not to discredit the genre, surely, but I bet more than this beach-blazin’ corner of music’s fair share of listeners would rather blare this music with school being out, with the sun being hot – depending on where you live, of course – and with those quiescent hormones now becoming as active and ragin' as the climate is changin': angst, girls, boys, and the memories
, man. Go get drunk, get high, get laid – whatever
; everything that happens in the season never actually really happens
, if you know what I mean. School ends in late May – well, hopefully it does – and begins in August again. What goes on in between those months belongs to its own niche in time, often being remembered much more fondly than the junk that goes on in the other seasons. Maybe that’s why pop-punk is much more appreciated by a large number of listeners in summer, then, don’t you think? : You don’t have to live with the guilt of jamming to it for the rest of the year. It has its place, best on the beach in the sun, and then it leaves once the books show up at your door.
That’s not entirely true for everyone, I guess, and I’m certainly not trying to get into a fight with the genre’s more religious enthusiasts. But it’s definitely how I, and numerous others, feel about pop-punk. And as such, in context of the oncoming summer season, I feel that I’m ready to access the likes of new-comers Georgia’s Veara. You see, the band play pop-punk in the hardcore-tinged vein of A Day To Remember
and New Found Glory
; and it’s really no wonder, too, given the fact that the four-piece are now touring with A Day To Remember
and are even working with band members Jeremy Mckinon’s and Joshua Woodard’s Running Man Records in order to release label-debut What We Left Behind
to the sunny-eyed masses. Previous tours with the likes of The Maine
have helped contextualize things for this band and have given Veara some much-needed experience in the field: they now know how to play chords, deliver the hooks, bring on the breakdowns, and stir up those seasonal memories with the best of them. Veara are a breath of fresh air in an often-cited stale environment, even showing the potential of passing ahead of their elders.
The musical phenomenon known as the hook
is what Veara thrive on, so don’t come expecting phenomenal instrumentation and deep or imaginative Jessy Lacey-styled lyrics. However, that’s not to say Veara are lazy in these areas in the least; in fact, they’re fittingly up to boy-girl, moving-on-with-life par. The best times with What We Left Behind
, though, come with the choruses, such as that of “My B-Side Life,” with its thump-ity-thump beat from female drummer Brittany Harell, or their most A Day To Remember
-esque cut, “Only Famous People Get Famous,” storming the lines of the forgotten youths up against the doubt of their overlooking authorities - gang vocals and all. Get big by touring and jamming the melodic power chords are how Veara do things, and from the sound of it, they’re certainly on their way. As some might have guessed, however, not all of the songs ring as triumphantly or are as youthfully
charged as those aforementioned. The latter half of the album has a hard time of not recycling riffs, melodies, and lyrical topics - particularly on the derivative “Head For The Hills” - and as such, it can be a bit tiring to fully sit through the entirety of What We Left Behind
When questioned on the origins of What We Left Behind
, Veara stated that the album was about moving on, leaving the naysayers in the dust, and escaping small-town narrow-mindedness. This description is fitting, too, encapsulating the whole of the album’s lyrical subjects, as well as explaining the origins of the drive and energy with which Veara craft their hooky, explosive debut. On the contrary, however, it’s also this description that explains why several of the songs recycle these same lyrical ideas and vocal melodies again and again on the What We Left Behind
, which in turn has the effect of causing listeners to go through, skip, and pick from the best of the album’s contents without listening to it all. And that’s what hinders What We Left Behind
from truly being excellent, if the only thing. Given a few years on the road, though, Veara will have plenty to talk about and play next time around. They’ll be essentially leading the hardcore pop-punk bunch: adding memories to our summers, recalling
memories of our summers, and making this and the like an enjoyable time-transcending pleasure. In the mean time, though, get a hold of What We Left Behind
and revel in the joys of the season. After all, it’s that time of the year again.