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Album Review

In one regard, Veruca Salt was a one-hit wonder, scoring one of the great singles of the grunge era with "Seether." In another regard, they were one of the greatest rock soap operas since Fleetwood Mac or Hüsker Dü, as longtime friends Louise Post and Nina Gordon had a bitter falling out over stolen boyfriends, stabbed backs, and general unpleasantness. Gordon packed up her bags and set out on a solo career, while Post dug in her heels, retained the Veruca Salt name, assembled a new band, and recorded the third Veruca album, 2000's Resolver. The friendship with Gordon wasn't the only severed relationship Post endured between 1997's Eight Arms to Hold You and Resolver — she also broke up with Foo Fighters leader/Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. These two fractured, painful separations drive Post throughout Resolver. Now, the title of the record may suggest that she's trying to resolve her feelings and attitudes toward these breakups, but the album plays as a relentless, unmitigated stream of bile from the second she hisses, "She didn't get it so f*ck her" in the opening salvo "Born Entertainer." Never once does Post let up her attack on Gordon and Grohl, except for when it becomes a little unfocused and becomes a vicious attack on the world in general. All of this is set to music that's halfway between American Thighs and Blow It Out Your Ass and completely dated in 2000, when post-grunge had become a faded memory. By any conventional yardstick, this does not result in a good album, but it surely is a fascinating listen. There's something perverse about the record, since it's not at all like reading a diary, it's like being assaulted by a half-forgotten, half-drunken acquaintance, intent on filling you in on every single excruciating detail of their miserable life — at top volume, no less — after you haven't seen them in years. An exorcism, really. But an exorcism set to music that refuses to acknowledge anything's changed in music since 1994, which makes it even more unsettling and fascinating. So, Resolver winds up being the kind of album that appeals to the hardcore who refuse to acknowledge the shifting times, plus the handful of jaded record geeks who just can't help but listen to something unintentionally strange and compelling. That is undoubtedly not what Louise Post had in mind when she made Resolver, but at least she made an album with some character, something that many of her peers can't claim. [Resolver was also released in a "clean" version, containing no profanities or vulgarities.]


Formed: 1993 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Veruca Salt reshaped the jagged, abrasive punk-pop of the Pixies and Breeders into a more accessible, riff-driven power pop formula that also borrowed from pop/hard rockers like Cheap Trick. It was a successful formula, both musically and commercially, yet it didn't ensure them indie rock credibility; in fact, they became one of the most harshly criticized bands of the post-Nirvana alternative rock era, despite being one of the first female-fronted outfits to achieve stardom in that genre. Veruca...
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Resolver, Veruca Salt
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