Veruca Salt

Velveteen/Beyond

My girlfriend, not exactly a meek person to begin with, always gets a little grittier when Veruca Salt is hollering from her car stereo. Dearest Jennifer gags at Natalie Merchant’s female-empowerment pleas, and she’s strangely committed to outing Jewel’s “obvious implants.” But give her the chick-power-pop of the Volcano Girls, and my girlfriend instantly grows a blissful natural-woman smirk. (You know, the dangerously sexy one that says “If you don’t marry me soon, I’m gonna gut you from balls to throat.”) So I’m happy to report that even though Veruca Salt co-creator Nina Gordon left the band in February 1998, her remaining partner, guitarist and (now) lead singer Louise Post, has kept the Veruca Salt sound Jen-pleasingly intact. In fact, the easy-to-follow hair-band beats, air-guitar axework, and soaring sing-along choruses on the new Resolver are just about identical to those found on the group’s first two albums, 1994’s American Thighs and 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You. And like those records, this one is a whole lotta fun for the first few rollicking tracks—but then it simply keeps repeating itself. Resolver’s best cuts, “Born Entertainer” and “Yeah Man,” play like Hole with table manners, with Post’s voice alternating from a baby-doll whisper to a wild-child howl. Just the kind of stuff to get Jen’s blood pumping. By the way, folks, if I had it my way, you’d all be invited to the wedding.—Sean Daly