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MP3 Vervein - The Weather Inside

My Bloody Valentine + Mazzy Star + Throwing Muses. A moody, atmospheric foursome with ethereal vocals, interwoven guitars and cello set to driving drums.

11 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Emo

This band is four ladies who produce a gorgeous brand of haunting, powerful atmospheric rock. Their high, breathy, harmonic vocals are a perfect match for the uneasy, disquieted sounds they generate, and there are long periods of instrument-only work. They full-on jam out, not afraid to throw their considerable prowess with their weapons of choice on the table for all to hear. Highly enjoyable on many different levels. -- DP, https://www.tradebit.com (Spring 2006)
Eschewing the typically cloudy realm of shoegazy dream pop, these ethereal female vocals instead soar low along the ground, both comforting and ominous in their proximity. They ride confidently on thick, pummeling guitars propelled by dynamic percussion, pausing here and there to float on moody cellos and seep into the precise incisions of razor sharp guitar chimes. Ah boy—er, girl.

The second album from this four-female San Francisco outfit weaves multiple layers of emotional release including doubt, fury, melancholy, and hope into its indie rock. Like Mogwai compressed into pop-song lengths, the level of weight and depth present here flies in the face of the “girl band” stereotype. Breeders’ chugging guitars and spirited defiance surface as well, balanced by equal measures of Azure Ray-like somber, sparkling pop. Clearly reflected is the classical training of Vervein’s two founders, in compositions that bob, weave, and explode through dark, distorted forests and lonely, fog-shrouded lakes. Well-executed interplay between the assorted instrumentation adds to the rich, hearty beauty.

The Weather Inside is stormy, up close, and certainly not predicted in most mainstream meteorologic models, but I’d leave the umbrella at home nonetheless. This kind of exposure is refreshing. -- Ryan Schmidt, Zeromag (04.03.06)
This all-lady band creates rich rock sounds with harmonies from Jess Congdon and Esther Reyes that are near divine. The opening "Code Orange" is downplayed but still brings to mind Mazzy Star after listening to some harder rock bands and riffs from Congdon and Reyes that are buried in the mix. The Cure also seems to be a logical comparison with a darker, murky "Walkie Talkie" that rides the bass groove from the onset before the chorus reaches a fantastic crescendo. And it just continues to build off that. Brilliant! -- Jason MacNeil, PopMatters (03.04.06)
Mental meteorology: the shifting patterns of the psyche, between mists, halcyon days, and downpours, provide an apt name for this newest collection of songs from SF-based quartet Vervein. The album’s cover image, in which sunlight glimmers through tree branches onto a loose linen weave, is a perfect indicator of the quartet’s expressionist sensibility, and the way their music seeks to convey mood (as distinct from drama).

Vervein’s members all have a background in classical music as well as many cumulative years of experience playing in punk bands, so it’s not surprising to find them eschewing the defined hooks of pop music in favor of more complicated rhythms and harmonics. Their debt to bands such as Sonic Youth and Mazzy Star is obvious; you can’t hum these songs, and it takes a few listens to draw out Vervein’s nuances from the bass-heavy undulations of their sound. From the beginning of The Weather Inside, the guitar fuzz in the background of “Code Orange” and the sunny drone of the chorus on “Walkie Talkie,” as well as the ricocheting percussion underpinning both songs, makes it abundantly clear that Vervein likes to rock.

But it’s in the quieter moments that the foursome really shines. Underneath the momentum that carries them forward lies a fierce attention to the dynamics of their instruments and the way their sounds merge and overspread. Founding members Jess Congdon and Esther Reyes both wield a formidable guitar, often at the same time, while layering in Rachel Stevenson’s bass and Reyes’s cello lines, which add warmth to the cool murmur of their sound. With a drummer as intent on complex rhythmics as Emily Marsh, the crash and thunder of the drum set could well overwhelm the other parts, especially in a live performance, but expert mixing keeps her beats far enough in the background here that they serve as a focal point for energy without disrupting the more delicate tones above. Riding the surges is Congdon’s smoky alto, often twinned with bassist Stevenson’s eerily similar voice to emerge in an echoing, silvery stage whisper that floats above the music like an incantation.

The result is a sound with both the pounding force and the rippling intricacy of waves breaking on a beach. Its pull is subtle at first, but with undercurrents this powerful, it’s easy to be submerged by Vervein’s Weather Inside. --Rebecca Johnson, West Coast Performer Magazine (03.02.06)
At times this female foursome deliciously casts allusions to the chaotic distorted pop of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Lush, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins without coming on like plagiarists... Best listened to at a ridiculously loud noise level. - Glitter Gutter Trash, Slug Magazine (02.04.06)
Bay Area space/dream pop band Vervein, who recently toured the West Coast with American Analog Set, appear poised on the brink of much-deserved broader notoriety with their excellent second LP, The Weather Inside. The hallmarks are all there: ever-present reverb, soft/loud section swaps, dual female vocals and dynamics as far as the eye can see. Yet the precision and excitement with which Vervein uses these beloved tools makes them a loyal favorite of the lucky few who happen upon their albums and live set. - Rooney, Slightly Confusing to a Stranger (01.26.06)
The Weather Inside, the band''s second full-length, opens with Jess Congdon''s voice ringing clear on the celestial "Code Orange," with a cascading wall of guitar, bass and drums that only hints at the songs to come. The instrumental interlude "Pelican" storms in like a bursting thundercloud at the crunchier, thrashier end of shoegaze. The melody belongs to Esther Reyes''s cello, like a tree bending in a storm. The songs flip in and out on themselves, changing time signatures and incorporating bridges, codas and crescendos that are unpredictable and striking, much like the arrangement antics Radiohead often go for. Though Reyes also plays guitar on other tracks, it''s her cello that rips your heart out. The careening guitars, gorgeous cello and clattering, gripping drumming of Emily Marsh all come together to create a world of sound that feels forbidden and deliciously secret... --Lee Fullington, Prefix Magazine (01.11.06)
While the rest of the world was stuck listening to the same old noise this year from the usual culprits like the Dave Matthews Band and Mariah Carey, we here in the Bay Area once again got to spoil our ears by indulging in tunes that were truly innovative, genre bending and perfectly thrilling... This is the album to give to those friends that insist music just isn''t that good anymore. Shot through with the sort of heart-tugging bass lines and sleepy-eyed vocals that made the Breeders famous, it''s not so much a flashback as a flash of inspiration. --Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle (12.27.05)
The resonating guitars and unabashed, smoky vocals are delicate yet brazen, like a beautiful, exotic flower that also happens to be carnivorous.
-San Francisco Bay Guardian
A 3-axe assault... utterly unlike that of Judas Priest.

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