An Emerging Powerhouse
Posted September 28, 2015
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Remember VERIDIA? They launched their successful debut EP with a slew of successful radio hits last year, and then they toured with WinterJam this year. Now they're back with a follow-up EP. Pretty Lies finds the group running with the sound that won them a growing arsenal of fans and takes it a huge step towards a signature sonic offering with 4 new songs that are sure to cement the group as one of the premiere new rock acts in Christian music.
"Crazy in a Good Way" kicks things off with a frenetic orchestral rock hook that is ridiculously strong (crazy in a good way, if you will). The song itself is a memorable rock number destined to be a live staple and a rock radio hit. It's a great way to kick things off, helping VERIDIA establish themselves as a competent and engaging rock powerhouse. They clearly have the musical chops to play with the big boys, and it's been awhile since a new name emerged in this genre with that promise evident to this degree.
The title track mixes things up a bit with more of a techno beat and pop coating. Memphis May Fire vocalist Matty Mullins (who himself has ventured into the Christian rock scene with a solo release) offers a guest vocal performance that enhances the musical experience while staying within the song's sonic structure. His vocals blend well with Deena Jakoub's, and I'd like to see the two collaborate again in the future. The song is also given a remix treatment at the end of the EP that checks all the needed remix boxes (even if personally, I'd selfishly have preferred another new song).
"At the End of the World" is another solid rock offering with some orchestral and industrial influences. There's a really sick bridge in this one complete with guitar solo. Jakoub's vocals are particularly powerful on the song's passionate chorus. It's songs like this that really make me think VERIDIA is going places. It feels familiar in the best of ways, like a seasoned veteran delivering a new hit, even though VERIDIA has yet to even drop a full-length.
"Say A Prayer" is the EP's sole ballad. In addition to being energy powerhouses, the first EP's song "Furious Love" (as well as the acoustic Summer Sessions) previously established that VERIDIA can melt hearts with a power ballad with the best of them. "Say A Prayer" follows well in that tradition, carrying a slightly more upbeat musical tone while still keeping it solemn and passionate. It's musically lush and engaging, with an intense bridge and another stunning performance by Jakoub. Lyrically, the song is also a standout, serving as a rousing call to pray for those hurting around the world. The song confesses a vulnerability of the human condition that really hits home with its reflection of how, despite how much we hurt, there are those hurting even worse. On all fronts, the song is a grand finale that really clicks start to finish.
I loved Inseparable, and Pretty Lies is not only a commanding encore, but a huge step forward for the band. Frankly, it really builds up my excitement for a full-length album from VERIDIA.
VERIDIA has proven that they have the power to really go the distance with memorable and passionate music that can play with the best veterans of the industry. In a year that has (for me at least) offered little in the way of truly standout musical releases, VERIDIA has come to save the day with what may be the best rock EP to release since their last one. I think Pretty Lies might rank higher than many full-length albums released this year. I'm really excited to see this act continue to develop.
Song to Download Now:
"Pretty Lies" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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