When: Thu., Feb. 16, 9:30 p.m. 2012
On their self-titled debut album for Slumberland, Veronica Falls plunder the output of 80s British indie-pop pioneers: the Shop Assistants, the Flatmates, Talulah Gosh. Yet this London quartet tweaks the formula by adding the bleak tone (if not the dark humor) of the Smiths and the sunny California vocal harmonies of the Mamas & the Papas. Lead singer Roxanne Clifford sometimes sounds like a pasty-skinned, self-indulgent teenager—on "Misery" she sings, "Misery has taken over me / Misery, my old friend"—but this kind of silliness goes down easy with the help of the band's ebullient melodies and chugging, ringing post-Velvets guitars. There's not much original about Veronica Falls, but I don't know of anybody else playing this style today who can load it with so many hooks and so much panache. —Peter Margasak Brilliant Colors and Halamays open.