Sound: The Story Thought Over is Verona Grove's debut album. It took them six years after forming the band in high school to move from their native Wisconsin to L.A. and release a record. Was it worth the wait? Let's see...
The guys worked hard on their first record on a label. What might seem like a month in a studio, turns out to be a whole year of songwriting. The album is 11 tracks, most of which are fast, guitar-driven and always pop rock with trashing drums. There's an obvious lack of variation in sound that starts when you realize you can't differ the first song from the second one. It can be explained by the number of band members -- there are only three of them. The music leaves you wishing for more interesting guitar parts and more memorable melodies. Unfortunately even the choruses are not catchy enough. Surprisingly the band sounds better in heavier rock songs -- like I Haven't Got Much (But I'm Getting Somewhere). Small Town Celebrity has a good but short guitar solo. Something electronic peeping in Chances is annoying and sounds like cheap computer effect. The tricks that guys vary their music with are quite predictable -- piano in ballads, drum break-downs -- borrowed from one of a million other pop-rock records. The music is uplifting in general and can be enjoyable if you don't take it all too serious. After all, the aim of the album, according to the band, is to inspire us to achieve our dreams. // 6
Lyrics: The main topic of the record is dreams. At the moment when the guys were creating the album their dream just came true -- they've signed a record deal and they decided to focus the writing on it. But teenage pop rock stays teenage pop rock. You don't even have to know English to understand what the guys are singing about -- Do you like my hair cut/ Do you think I'm so hot/ Where the hell is high school/ Back then I was so cool. It's all in just this line. They even wrote a song about themselves -- Small Town Celebrity with lyrics like Teenage rockstar, only thirty years old/ Where the hell did high school go -- such a self-criticism is worth a respect! The guys didn't go crazy trying to invent new rhythms - lines like May yes, maybe no/ Maybe yes, maybe so pop out quite often. If you listen close, maybe you'll find famous Together/forever. The vocals are as plain as they could be -- apart from the fact that there is only one vocal line, there are even no multi-layered or delayed effects in choruses. Listening to the CD you get the feeling vocalist Tony Anders is singing straight to your ear. // 5
Overall Impression: Sorry to be a grown-up bore, but this is way too primitive and monotonous even for the kids. Take away three-note melody and you wouldn't be able to differ tracks one from another. If I didn't know that The Story Thought Over is their debut album, I would swear I've heard all that before. The band members claim the production brought a whole other dimension to record. Maybe before they met the producer Jamie Arentzen, they had some kind of a seal, but after his work Verona Grove has a lot in common with American Hi-Fi and a bunch of other punk-rock followers. // 6
- Kosh (c) 2007