Braving The Mechanical Planet
Posted March 13, 2014
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
It has almost become routine: a new female-fronted rock band shows up on the scene and almost immediately people are comparing them to other female-fronted rock bands, either to attack their originality or simply as an innocent attempt to liken them to established acts. Nevertheless, it's rare that such bands really get noticed for their own identity until they have several albums to their name.
This dilemma is true of all bands to some degree, but I can't help but feel that the comparisons with female-fronted rocked bands end up being a lot weaker than most. It's as if having a female singing rock songs automatically makes a band a Flyleaf wannabe. Add in strings and they are Evanescence. So with the arrival of new Word signee VERIDIA, it should come as no surprise that the comparisons have already begun. I've already heard the band likened to Icon For Hire, The Letter Black, Fireflight and Evanescence. And really, aside from perhaps a small degree of vocal resemblance of lead singer Deena Jakoub to Fireflight's Dawn Michelle (and maybe a slight moment here or there to the others), there's a lot more to them than that.
What immediately caught my eye about VERIDIA is their dynamic fusion of danceable techno-pop and rock. They still sport the ever-popular string-backed rocker with soaring chorus, but there's a lot more techno influence to this than the acts they are compared to. Jakoub's voice is unique and smooth and fits perfectly in the hybrid sound. Lead single "We Are The Brave" perfectly exemplifies all of that in a three and a half minute package. It checks all the boxes to be a smash rock hit and yet also provides something fresh in its danceable pop veneer. The song's rallying cry slamming down the devil also exemplifies the EP's themes of battle with the world around us.
After setting the bar high, the rest of the EP never lets up. "Disconnected" carries the energy forward and brings the techno sound even more to the forefront. The song itself could easily thrive on pop radio, and should lay to rest any remaining talk of VERIDIA being just another copycat of any other successful female-fronted rock band. Discussing how technology could be impeding our real-world relationships, it's a relevant and timely anthem for our day.
The strings return for the emotional ballad "Furious Love." Everything about this song is just knock-you-outta-your-chair good. Vocal delivery, powerful chorus, exciting intro, and relevant lyrics declaring a desire for the furious love of Christ, this track boasts it all. Its chorus resonates with meaning for those left burned by rejection: "You say I'm beautiful / I don't need the world's approval / only you madly pursue me and jealously tell me I'm worthy of furious love."
"Mystery of the Invisible" also carries an emotional ballad weight and sends the EP out in powerful fashion. "Mechanical Planet" again displays an expert mix of rock and dance/pop that serves as a fitting match for the themes of tech-crazy culture and our often mechanical way of treating people without regard for their humanity.
Each of the five tracks here manages to pull its own weight. Add to that interesting album art, and you have a well-rounded release that's sure to please.
VERIDIA's debut effort exudes talent and potential. There's already so much being done right that most claims of unoriginality should fall away with just a few listens. There's definitely anticipation aplenty for the eventual full-length release. If this is how the band begins, one can only imagine what awaits them in the future. They may perhaps not yet be at the level of intensity of the comparable industry veterans, but neither were most of them at this stage in their career. For a band just making an initial splash on the music scene, VERIDIA has hit a home run.
"We Are The Brave"
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