Veara - What We Left Behind Release Date: May 25, 2010
Record Label: Epitaph Records
It's a shame that Veara get compared so much to A Day to Remember. The comparisons, even more unfortunately, are very real and justified. While I really enjoy A Day to Remember's brand of bro-core, a lot of people on this website don't. They despise it, as a matter of fact. It's everything wrong with pop punk, in their mind. They're too poppy, they're too hardcore, they don't have enough clean vocals, they don't have enough screaming. Whatever. This is Veara's review.
What We Left Behind, the debut full-length from the Peach State pop punk four-piece, is 31 minutes of catchy summer music, as most would say. It was produced by A Day to Remember frontman Jeremy McKinnon, so there's your direct connection, and the vocals on some of the songs do sound a bit like they were taken from a Homesick B-side. But other than that and some similarities in guitar tones and effects, the comparisons between Veara and A Day to Remember aren't exactly overflowing. And above all, the perceived similarities between these two bands are just going to cause people to overlook Veara and not listen to this record.
What We Left Behind is sort of like a meeting between Homesick and Hit the Lights' Skip School, Start Fights. There are a fair amount of happy-go-lucky breakdowns, but the vocals on this record are at times easier to swallow than McKinnon's. Veara would be A Day to Remember if all of A Day to Remember's songs were "Have Faith In Me".
"We Have A Body Count" and "Better Off Without You", the pair that open the record, show Veara's strong points, and that's where the band stick for most of What We Left Behind. Uptempo songs with soaring sing-along vocals, drop-tuned guitar lines, and well-timed gang chants are what this record contains, in a nutshell. The amount of enjoyment a listener receives from this album will depend on how picky that listener is. I like my pop punk fast, relatively hard, and catchy, and Veara fit the mold beautifully. While they aren't pushing all the other bands off of the summit of my pop punk mountain, they're taking a water break about halfway up the beginner's trail.
The ADTR comparisons will be most rampant in "My B-Side Life" and "Only Famous People Get Famous", while "Head For the Hills" is a poor man's "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" from New Found Glory's Not Without A Fight. Album closer "Getting Kicked In the Face Has Never Been So Much Fun" is a standout for two reasons. First, Veara don't give you a bullshit ballad that starts acoustic and ends up with a totally climactic electric breakdown. Those songs are hard to pull off; also, doing that would have drawn another comparison to A Day to Remember, and Veara surely would have lost in a battle with "If It Means A Lot To You". Instead, they keep their own proven style and do it with an enjoyable build up in the bridge, ending the album with a good set of voiced-over gang vocals.
What We Left Behind isn't the best pop punk record to be released in 2010; it might not even be in my top ten in the genre. Alone, this record doesn't even have that much lasting power, and I'll be surprised if I listen to it at all when the seasons change and there isn't the humid air of a Florida summer night to accompany my singing along to the opening track. But what What We Left Behind does show is a lot of promise in the Georgia natives. Even though they're all probably UGA Bulldog fans, I'd be willing to put a lot of my eggs in their peach basket (sounds kinky, though). This won't be the last time we hear from Veara, and if they start to develop and discover their own sound, then What We Left Behind won't need any staying power...we'll just remember it as the start to something worthwhile.
What We Left Behind is sort of like a meeting between Homesick and Hit the Lights' Skip School, Start Fights.
This sums it up pretty well and I love both of those records a lot. I decided to grab this when I saw it in a Hot Topic. It was the beginning of summer, I love pop punk more than most things so I thought I would just check it out. It's nothing special, but it gets the job done and I enjoy it for what it is, exactly what I'd want to listen to during summer months. Good review, dude.
Great review, Thomas. Really covered everything I felt about the record. Honestly, though, I haven't really played this much since my review of it. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for the staff review. These guys need more attention, imo.
I'm tired of hearing this band get compared to ADTR. They are nothing alike. There are no crazy "hardcore" breakdowns not one time do they scream. They are a pop-punk band and ADTR are a shitty excuse for a pop-punk-core band they suck. Veara is extremely good and blows ADTR out of the water. So ignore the comparisons and check this album out. You won't be disappointed.