Review: Veruca Salt – Ghost Notes

"Time flies and I can’t keep up."

Ghost Notes is the first and hopefully not last album from the reunited 90’s band Veruca Salt. Let’s go back in time for a second. I was 11-years-old when American Thighs came out and I idolized singers Nina Gordon and Louise Post. They are attractive and stylish women that can shred on a guitar, write beautiful lyrics, and command an audience, but best of all they had a unique bond that I hoped to find for myself.

When I first heard that the band’s reunion last year would result in new recordings I was cautiously optimistic. I didn’t know what to expect from the band I once obsessed with or how it would fare in the disposable state that music has become. I may be 32-years-old now, but this album threw me right back to my bedroom singing into a hairbrush and playing air guitar. Ghost Notes encapsulates everything I loved about Veruca Salt, and the band is stronger and tighter than ever.

Ghost Notes sounds more like a follow up to their indie rock debut American Thighs than their arena rock attempt Eight Arms to Hold You. They even reunited with Thighs producer Brad Wood on this album and it feels like they’ve picked up right where they left off. They weren’t trying to reinvent themselves. They captured what they initially did so well and somehow improved upon it. There is no filler here; each song could easily stand on its own. The band’s 80’s pop rock influences and 90’s alternative rock past are evident, but the record is current and not just because the 90’s are back in fashion.

Lyrically, Ghost Notes is about the break up and reunion of the band. In the past, their songs were clear Nina songs or Louise songs, Nina’s songs being poppier and Louise’s being more hard rock influenced. But here, the band has truly collaborated and the result may just be the best Veruca Salt album yet. Nina may have sung on the band’s hits in the past, but Louise takes more of a lead on Ghost Notes. Her voice has never sounded better, which just makes you think that maybe things weren’t the same without her musical soulmate. In the past Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack may have seemed like the men behind the women, but their presence has never been as evident and crucial as it is on this album.

Ghost Notes comes out tomorrow, but do yourself a favor and download “Empty Bottle”. It is available on iTunes now and it is easily the best song on the album.



Megan Hawkey is the co-founder of Riot-Nerd. She is a 34-year-old concert photographer. She lives in Fishtown with her supportive husband and their 2 rescued Pitbull mixes.
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