Stockholm is a cool city made even cooler because it’s the home of the PNKSLM label and the band Vero who have just released their first album Unsoothing Interior, and it’s a cracking debut release. Vero are Julia Boman, Amanda Eddestål and Clara Gyökeres, a band of friends who ended up becoming a band after starting a club night together which led to them forming a group. They tried a variety of styles before settling on their sound and bassist Julia Boman says “We don’t want to be super musicians; we want to write the best fucking songs and just have the best energy and show people that we’re having fun.” And it shows as you can feel the warmth of that energy radiating out from the songs.
Vero share a similar postcode to Elastica, and Sleeper but their shiny pop has darkness on the edge of town. Just as they can knock out a catchy hook, they might also slip in a dissonant chord, like the opening track ‘Cupid’, or a delicious off-centre riff in a track like ‘Beluga’. The silky, often breathy vocals can prowl around over the fuzzed guitars but become exultant in the soaring choruses of songs like ‘Spin’ or ‘Heather’. You get the slacker menace of ‘Sex, Me & TV Shows’, the laidback ’21 12’ (that sounds like a slow motion Tenpole Tudor song), and the rocket-propulsion of ‘Beluga’ or ‘BEG!’, the Cure-like bass line of ‘Special’ or the haunting pop of ‘Exit 2’ which closes the album.
The name Unsoothing Interior may be designed to reflect “unpolished sound and the tumultuous nature of navigating your twenties” and be “less about soft colours and more David Lynch” but the production is perfect as it doesn’t compromise the band’s raw energy but focuses all of it around the power of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. The lyrics may demonstrate a group of people figuring out how to navigate life in their twenties but the music shows clear direction and a powerful sense that Vero are destined for big things.
Review by Paul F Cook