Veruca Salt, Battleme | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt

When: Sat., July 12, 9 p.m. and Mon., July 14, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: sold out
Led by quintessential 90s babes Louise Post and Nina Gordon, with Steve Lack on bass and Gordon’s brother Jim Shapiro (a former Reader staffer) on drums, Veruca Salt blew up right out of the gate thanks to the hit singles on their debut album, 1994’s American Thighs. The crunchy “Seether” and the plodding “All Hail Me” put a fresh face on female-fronted grunge—they were way more Go-Go’s than Babes in Toyland, combining post-Nevermind angst with sugar-sweet vocal harmonies and an unabashed pop sensibility. The band’s high point was the overlooked 1996 EP Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt, where a raw, bare-bones Steve Albini mix strengthened the band’s backbone and brought out the undertones of gritty punk in their sound; on the 1997 album Eight Arms to Hold You, by contrast, Veruca Salt transitioned fully into glossy, radio-ready alt-rock. Shortly after its release, Shapiro left, to be replaced by Stacy Jones (formerly of Letters to Cleo, later of American Hi-Fi, and now musical director for Miley Cyrus). By the end of 1998 Post was the only founding member left, and she kept Veruca Salt alive with a shifting cast of backing musicians while Gordon took a stab at a solo career. The original lineup reunited last year, and the ten-inch they released on Record Store Day this spring proves that Post and Gordon sound best when they’re singing together. The band has a new EP in the works and will spend much of the rest of this year on the road. —Luca Cimarusti
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