Release Date: April 21, 2009
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska
Against The Grain is The Veer Union’s debut album and, for what it is, it isn’t bad. However, for those listeners that aren’t into rather average pseudo-punk rock and big power ballads, it might be best to move on. That said, The Veer Union’s debut album is a decent enough collection of songs that isn’t terribly likely to either incite a riot or cause buckets of tears to be shed. There is nothing offensive about Against The Grain but the songs don’t quite live up to the album’s title either.
“Seasons” starts the album off in the way one might expect, some decently heavy guitar riffs, vocals full of angst (though carefully enunciated at the same time) and some well-placed drumming. “Youth Of Yesterday” is the sort of radio-friendly rock that most people have come to expect from “alternative” radio stations. While they aren’t as obnoxiously offensive as Nickelback, many listeners might see some similarities between the two bands.
While The Veer Union knows how to do mildly bombastic rock, they also have a fondness for the rock ballad. “Over Me,” “I’m Sorry,” “Breathing In” and even “Into Your Garden” all tend towards this side of things and while one ballad on an album is tolerable, four is clearly too many even though the songs aren’t bad. There is a time and a place.
“What Have We Done” wraps things up with an attempt at a politically and socially-oriented song complete with an audience-type chanted chorus. Frankly, it’s just somewhat hard to take seriously since there really isn’t any legitimate passion coming across in the song. The most difficult aspect of this album is that The Veer Union has done a fine job of recording what they’ve got, but if they want to be more than another band lumped in the category of Nickelback or Hinder, it might be time to work on branching out when it comes to songwriting.