Review: The Veer Union – 'Decade'

2016 marks a decade since Canadian Rockers (I refuse to acknowledge the term Alternative Rock, as the alternative to rock is to not rock, and these guys do indeed rock). The Veer Union released their debut album in 2006, and the band are celebrating by releasing their first full length album in four years, cunningly titled ‘Decade’. A mixture of both brand new and previously unreleased tracks, as well as a couple that the human tripod himself, Tommy Lee, fancied for his solo album ‘Tommyland’. Both ‘Watch You Lose’, and ‘Make Believe’ are now returned to the man that gave birth to them, The Veer Union vocalist, songwriter and producer – Crispin Earl. With a new line up in place, Earl is ready to take the band to the next level, and ‘Decade’ is a great way to start a brand new year.

‘Decade’ kicks off with lead single ‘Defying Gravity’, a blistering way for any band to put down a marker, let alone a band embarking on new beginnings. Modern, infectious, and confident, the song features some crushing riffs from lead guitarist Dan Sittler, ably assisted by Ryan Ramsdell on rhythm guitar. The track changes tack in a few places, especially when bassist Amal Wijayanayake brings home the bacon with his growling back up vocals. Crispin Earl has struggled with depression over the years so the song is his ‘fuck you’ to the illness, singing:

“I’ve been six feet underground, Fighting to be found, But I won’t let go… I will be Defying gravity”

‘Watch You Lose’ sounds nothing like the almost Nirvana-esque version that Tommy Lee put out in 2005. This is fresh and up to date, with a crushing drum action from Tyler Reimer, who batters the song into submission. A very catchy track but without losing any grit. ‘Decade’ does indeed feature some memorably catchy moments. This is a band not to shy away from some glorious hooks. ‘You Can’t Have It All’ is a great example. Hooks to die, for but with added bite.

‘I Said’ slows the album down with some understated vocals from Earl that bring Seal to mind. The track could easily be playing in the background as Dwayne Johnson walks away in slow mo from a burning car in Fast & Furious 9, or whatever the fuck number the franchise is on now. Don’t be afraid by the Seal reference, that dude can sing !

‘Make Believe’ and ‘We All Will’ see the band back on ‘in-your-face’ mode before ‘I Don’t Care’ comes in with a sound that echoes acts like Breaking Benjamin and Sevendust. Energetic and worthy of some attention from Rock radio, the track deserves to be heard on a much larger scale.

‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Underrated’ are modern day Pop Rock, edgy without being sinister or threatening, appealing to fans of bands ranging from Skillet to Imagine Dragons, even. Younger music fans, especially, are far more open minded these days, and it’s not uncommon for someone that likes Bring Me The Horizon or PVRIS to also enjoy a bit of 5 Seconds Of Summer, for instance. The blinkered attitude doesn’t seem to develop until a later stage, and The Veer Union are perfect for bridging that gap. A band with an expansive and ambitious sound whose personable nature (especially from Earl) will resonate with a great deal of people today looking for someone to give them a voice. These guys would kill it at Download 2016 on one of the smaller stages. Keep it nice and compact, then stand back and watch as the crowd bounces off the walls…

‘Decade’ will be released on January 29th. For more info on pre-order bundles and to check out the ‘Defying Gravity’ video then head over to their website HERE.

Review by Dave Stott

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