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The Veer Union – “Against The Grain” (2009) April 14, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2009, The Veer Union.

Written by Andrew Hart

For all of it’s strengths, surprises, disappointments, and memorable songs, 2009 to this point is seriously lacking some fresh blood in the rock music scene.  Fear not though, The Veer Union is on the case, bringing the wave of hard rock back to the airwaves and dropping their major label debut, Against The Grain.  The five-some has already begun to take the nation by storm with lead-off single “Seasons” swimming in radio play and becoming the official theme song of WWE’s newest big event.  The attention is deserved too, as several of the members already have musical experience, working with everyone from Tommy Lee to Forty Foot Echo.  The experience shows in Against The Grain.

The opening trifecta of songs is probably the strongest showing on the album, starting with the straightforward and explosive “Seasons” before transitioning to hook-laden “Youth of Yesterday” and the emotionally driven “Over Me.”  “Seasons” is a great choice as far as singles are concerned, led by a powerful vocal performance and a fantastic recurring riff.  “Youth of Yesterday” commands attention with the instrumental cutaway that builds the chorus higher than the previous song.  “Over Me” begins to show off the multiple dimensions of vocal use, using a distant and distorted vocal line to burst into the chorus at full force.  All three songs will be jammed in your mind for ages, thanks to their addictive choruses, which quickly become the recurring theme of Against The Grain.

From there, the album’s biggest weakness becomes apparent but barely bothersome.  Many of The Veer Union’s tracks will feel blended together and far too similar the first few times through, but each track will make a name for itself with repeated listens.  Whether it’s the low intro and commanding outro of “Darker Side of Me”, the hard-hitting “Your Love Kills Me”, or slow building album closer “What Have We Done”, it will become obvious soon that each song has it’s own personality and distinctions.  Really the biggest faults are the so and so power ballads “I’m Sorry” and “Breathing In”.  Each has a decent amount of hooks, but neither fully commits to the emotion of the song, leaving both feeling rather dull and skipable.

The Veer Union meshes remarkably well time and time again though.  Frontman Crispin Earl has the perfect sounding voice for the band, a real hard rock tone with grunge twang.  The backup vocals match each song perfectly, and nearly every track has an inventive and catchy riff on guitar or bass, so props are due to Schraeder, Roots and Fiddler for that.  The drums while not as consistant, are still more than addictive enough on songs like “Final Moment” and “Youth of Yesterday” and are never boring.  Lyrically, The Veer Union is fairly standard, but the emotion of the songs brings forth what the lyrics don’t necessarily address.

Against The Grain is a promising break into the mainstream for The Veer Union, who deserves credit for a rock album that grows more and more with each listen.  Those who take the time to sit back and listen will constantly find subtle nuances about their craft, like the affinity for instrument cutaways to give the vocals and lyrics a second or two to shine.  It’s that kind of technique that creates great hooks and memorable tunes, and that’s evidently something that The Veer Union has a firm grasp on, as Against The Grain is an album you’ll keep coming back to time and time again.

8.5 out of 10 – Download “Over Me”

The Veer Union is | Crispin Earl – Vocals | Eric Schraeder – Guitar, Backing Vocals | James Fiddler – Guitar | Mark Roots – Bass | Neil Beaton – Drums



1. KGGPennington - April 14, 2009

I am so glad you used the word trifecta.
That is all.

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