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Copacetic

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Album Review

Although Velocity Girl never made the major-label leap of bands like Belly or Veruca Salt, it certainly wasn't for lack of talent. But it is difficult to imagine their first proper album, Copacetic, with anything other than indie-label production values. It's essentially a post-shoegazer update of R.E.M.-ish jangle pop, which covers two of the most popular reference points in early-'90s indie pop. What makes Velocity Girl stand out is their songcraft and the way they constantly play with the balance of that equation. Sarah Shannon's girlish voice and sweet melodies are often wrapped in fuzzed-out white noise that simply wouldn't have the same effect if it were polished up. However, the band doesn't rely exclusively on it; some numbers trade the wall-of-noise guitars for straight-up collegiate power pop, but more often, they shuffle back and forth between the two extremes. As a result, perfect three-minute pop singles sit comfortably next to up-tempo rockers and dreamy, blissed-out slow numbers. Sure, the band is derivative of its influences, but those influences are smartly reassembled in a way that's both typical of its time and very well-executed. And, with its shifting balance between melody and noise, lightness and haze, Copacetic is the album that best encapsulates Velocity Girl's appeal.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Marrying the feedback-drenched sonic assault of the British shoegazer scene with the melodic immediacy of classic pop — an approach critics dubbed "bubblegrunge" — Velocity Girl emerged as one of the most successful and acclaimed indie rock bands of the early '90s. Their roots lay in the short-lived Gotterdammacrats, which formed in Silver Spring, MD in September 1988 around the nucleus of singer/guitarist Archie Moore, bassist Kelly Riles, guitarist John Barnett, and drummer Berny Grindel....
Full bio
Copacetic, Velocity Girl
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