In music, once a successful formula is created, there are always a myriad of musicians who try to replicate it. This is prevalent trend found throughout the pages of history. When The Beatles took the world by storm in the 1960s, many bands modeled their sound and appearance after them in order to achieve recognition. In their glory days, the Drive-Thru Records roster inspired the creation of countless pop-punk bands made up of kids clad in cargo shorts and knee high socks. With contemporary bands such as Four Year Strong and A Day To Remember experiencing success with their blend of pop-punk and hardcore, bands are now ditching their skateboards in favor of breakdowns. Copies are never as good the original, which causes bands like Veara to come off as generic. Possessing a sound that can be best described as the A Day To Remember without the hardcore screams, Veara is too safe and plastic with their debut full-length What We Left Behind. It is what you expect it to be: a catchy pop-punk album with plentiful breakdowns, gang vocals and double bass hits. It is a fun listen but lacks noteworthy attributes or progressive nature to stay relevant in a growing scene.
“We Have A Body Count” is one of the lone standouts, containing one of the record’s better choruses and hooks. Lyrically, let’s be honest; it is hard to have creative song topics, especially in a genre that contains the word “pop.” Rather, it is the way that you present it that makes it unique. In this case, Veara do an average job, using driving tempos and hooks to offset the clichéd theme of leaving a place you hate. Additional tracks of note, “My B-Side Life” and “Head For The Hills,” can be placed in the same category. They are accessible, but lyrics such as “I guess I’ll just walk it off/And learn to cope without a crutch” in “My B-Side Life” are painfully plain. We are not expecting Shakespearean poetry, but lyricists like Soupy Campbell have demonstrated that lyrics can be novel by infusing local diction or simply by being blunt. Veara have also erred by writing about the same topics; “We Have A Body Count” and “Head For The Hills” revolve around the same point, varying only in lyrics and music. Unless it is a concept album, different subjects are preferred. Luckily, these tracks have infectious hooks that retain some of the audience’s attention. However, too much of this cannot hide the flaws of a release; “Pull Your Own Weight” and “Everything To Lose” are flat out boring. They have the fun and catchy factors working in their favor, but their staying power is poor.
Much like A Day To Remember, Veara struggles to be creative musically; many of their riffs and breakdowns have the same feel. Though they can churn out some pretty fun guitar lines like in “Head For The Hills”, listen to “We Have A Body Count” and “Waste My Time” consecutively. The chord progressions and riffs are extremely similar. In fact, it seems as if only a few notes were changed. In the future, Veara should aim to devise a sound they can call their own. In “Everything To Lose”, the bridge seems to be taken from a song from the band’s Ocala friends; it consists of a harmony between clean vocals and screamed ones. Instead of people saying, “Wow that sounds a lot like A Day To Remember”, the band should strive to have them proclaim, “This is the Veara sound we know and love.” What We Left Behind is a decent listen, but expectations should be tempered. While it shows potential for Veara, the album is bound to get forgotten.
2. Better Off Without You
3. My B-Side Life
4. Pull Your Own Weight
5. Waste My Time
6. Role Model
7. Everything To Lose
8. Only Famous People Get Famous
9. Head For The Hills
10. Getting Kicked In The Face Has Never Been So Much Fun
Veara is a pop punk 4-piece from Augusta, GA since December 2003. The band now consists of Bradley Wyrosdick as lead vocals (replacing Ian Reese), and continues to have Patrick Bambrick as Vocals/Guitar, Bryan Kerr on Bass/Vocals, and Brittany Harrell on Drums.... read more