Don't Kill The Magic
Isolate and Medicate
The Veer Union is yet another modern rock outfit signed to a major label and managed by Chief Music management; the same team that handle Hinder, Jet Black Stare and Faber Drive. Indeed the sound of ‘Against the Grain’ doesn’t stray too far away from the tried and tested mainstream formula monopolized by those bands. Any deviation from this formula is evident with the slightly grittier sound and the soulful vocal lines drawn by former Everything After vocalist Earl Crispin, a man who contributed to the writing on Tommy Lee’s ‘Tommyland’ album. He also happens to be one of the few black vocalists fronting a band in this genre of music. Add to the mix one time Forty Foot Echo guitarist Eric Schraeder and it becomes clear that The Veer Union is worthy of your attention.
Veteran producer Greg Archilla produces ten tracks on the album, leaving the other two to Brian Howes. The songwriting is mainly an in house, with contributions being made on three songs by Howes; the familiar power ballad ‘I’m Sorry’, the hooky crunch of ‘Youth Of Yesterday’ and the mid tempo ‘Your Love Kills Me’). Ironically ‘Into Your Garden’-a Crispin/Schraeder collaboration- sounds like a Howes composition, with its catchy chorus and underlying guitar riff reminiscent of Hinder’s ‘Get Stoned’.
Elsewhere, ‘Better Believe’ comes over like a harder edged Forty Foot Echo and the Agents Of The Sun comparison-Crispin’s vocals have that feel throughout- is most evident on the balladic ‘Breathing In’.
The quality of the second half of the album fails to match that of the first and there is a certain feeling of déjà vu as you listen to the album all the way through. There’s plenty to raise the temperature, however ‘Against The Grain’ simmers without really boiling over