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:: The Lucida Console :: The Verra Cruz ::
09 November 2004 / Jillys Rockworld / Manchester
By Dave Himelfield

Ask someone about Fear of Music and you can guarantee the initial reply? “Oh, they’re really young, ain’t they?” No mention of the tunes then, just a bit of ageism. But wait a minute. Could you put songs together like that when you were still in high school? And moreover, would you accept a bunch of thirty year olds doing the same thing? Don’t kid yourself. The answer to both should be no. So it’s their years or more so, their apparent lack of that work in favour of Leeds’ Lucida Console. Precociousness provides the ‘wow!’ factor. So ok this sounds like 90% of the Deep Elm catalogue and about 50% of that from Jade Tree but this is solid and ponderous beyond their years. Riffs aren’t just sub Funeral for a Fool bilge. Oh no. There’s a strange and thoughtful maturity at work coupled by an impeccable sense of melody and dynamic. So it is ‘emo’ but on the brighter, Johnny-come-first-actually side of things not to mention superior to bands with several time their experience.

Nickleback and Puddle of Mudd still dent the charts but grunge is still dead. These are not bands. They are ghosts stepping into tattered 501s and plaid shirts and still finding that their lack of substance cannot even start to fill them. The Verra Cruz take us right back into that despondent terrain sternly holding tunes as rain-soaked and grey against the inevitable winds of progress and even moderate interest. With equal dejection, each song is sadly little more than a tear stained but uneventful gaze backward. Regulation guitars anonymously fill out the spaces like boiled rice. Vocals howl like an Eddie Vedder leant over a zimmerframe. There’s passion here but unfortunately it’s spent on what seems to be an emaciated and rather elderly cause.

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