Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Veruca Salt

  • American Thighs [Minty Fresh/DGC, 1994] A-
  • Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt [Minty Fresh/DGC, 1996] ***
  • Eight Arms to Hold You [Outpost, 1997] *
  • Resolver [Beyond, 2000] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

American Thighs [Minty Fresh/DGC, 1994]
Who cares whether it's "real" or not? However much Nina Gordon, Louise Post, and their bepenised rhythm section sound like the Breeders, you could tell the two apart in a blindfold test (probably). But the confluences overpower the divergences anyway, and good. Commercial calculation is as irrelevant here as they're-just-a-band gender-has-nothing-to-do-with-it crapola. Whatever their motives and existential reality, they're less coy, less goofy, clearer melodically, and surer of their rhythmic turf at least in part because the Breeders got over, thus diminishing (but not eliminating) their felt need for diversionary tactics in a continuing project of aesthetic reconceptualization--creating a pop-rock style that steers between male-identified canons of manipulative pseudocertainty and female-identified canons of pseudoconfessional sensitivity. At present, what they say with that style means less than how coherently and attractively they configure it. If and when they become (even) better artists, it won't. A-

Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt [Minty Fresh/DGC, 1996]
two catchy-not-poppy A's, two sludgy-not-grungy B's ("Shimmer Like a Girl," "I'm Taking Europe With Me") ***

Eight Arms to Hold You [Outpost, 1997]
striving toward bar band to be born ("Straight," "Benjamin") *

Resolver [Beyond, 2000]
They've never gotten respect for their girl- and sex-positive rock, and they never will. But they've never made a bad record either. With Nina Gordon off pursuing her dreams of Belinda Carlisle, the principles are down to Louise Post, who's as girl- and sex-positive as ever but more desperate about it. Whispery-vulnerable or bitchy-tuneful, she seems to be deciding that love etc. is more important than rock and roll, a truth always worth putting a hook on. A-