The Bottleneck -- Tuesday, June 6, 2000

Veruca Salt 

The Bottleneck -- Tuesday, June 6, 2000

There is no sadder sight in cyberspace than the error message that a Web site no longer exists, and no band in recent memory has more defunct sites to its name than Veruca Salt. The frontwomen of this postgrunge version of Heart, minor-league Chicago hotties Nina Gordon and Louise Post, parted company as friends and collaborators a couple of years ago. But for all the ruminations each has offered the press about the split and its negative emotional impact, fans seem uninterested -- that is, what fans remain. The Ultimate Band List site has more than a dozen links to sites claiming to be the last word in all things Veruca Salt, but most of them have either packed up shop or haven't been updated since Post decided to carry on with the group name. Even the official Veruca Salt site has little to round out its appeal except a few pictures and a desperate-sounding reminder that a new album just came out.

Much of that disc, Resolver, was showcased Tuesday night at The Bottleneck, where the 2000-model Salt played a set that shared the pleading tenor of its Web site. Post's stridently vituperative new songs are aimed mainly at Gordon, treating her more like a lover than a bantam. Unfortunately, these tunes are not especially interesting melodically, leaving the burden on Post's delivery and words. Post did her part, with strong vocals, but she could not overcome the band's overall sloppiness. Over the course of a night, even the older Salt songs, including "Seether" and "Spiderman," gained the same spurned edge. But rather than add momentum or heat, Post's insistent displeasure caused the set to suffer from a nondescript sameness.

The newest Saltine, bass player Suzie Solo, has not yet filled the role of onstage foil for Post. Neither could guitarist Steven Fitzpatrick do much to enliven the band's presence. The feeling that Post should not have bothered to keep the band name alive seemed to occur to some of the crowd, which was indifferent to the Resolver material. Of the unfamiliar tunes, "Used to Know Her" was the most effective, but unfortunately this marked the only occasion when Post's highly personal songwriting was met by a band tuned to her channel.

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