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1994 debut album from the Alternative rock band featuring singer Nina Godron, 13 trax.
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Top Customer Reviews
Where to begin with this? Every song is good. The girls have a knack for hauntingly mixing melodies and harmonies in layers that weave back and forth, and the songwriting runs the gamut from softly whispered to right-out-rocking, but it never loses its grit or its edge. This is a remnant of the effectively dead Chicago grunge scene in the mid-90's, and it lives up to that classification heartily. Crunching guitar riffs with huge distortions and electified, simple solos with the picks screeching along the metal.
Yet the most compelling aspect of this record is the evocative sadness that pervades much of it. There's a sense of nostalgia present, and it's not a derivative of the record's age. It's present in the songs themselves; songs such as "Fly" and "Celebrate You", "Wolf", "25" and "Sleeping Where I Want" are catchy yet suppressively dark at the same time. Ultimately, these will be the tunes that keep this record from falling into obscurity behind the rest of your collection.
The lead single "Seether" is of course the most recognizable to anyone over the age of 24; but the ferocious opening rocker "All Hail Me" will catch the attention and get things going, and the haunting, dark "Spiderman '79" will solidify Veruca Salt in the mind of the listener. The only song on the album which sounds out of place is the copycat "Forsythia," which, while certainly having catchy drum and bass lines, just seems a tad too contrived in comparison to the other songs.
American Thighs, on the other hand, shows Nina Gordon and Louise Post's deep understanding of songwriting and diversity.
At their most ferocious, the Gordon/Post partnership can generate searing, heartfelt, yet also intelligently worded rock that beats any posing Cobain might do with his smashed guitar and oh-woe-is-me attitude. "Seether" was the deserved radio smash, but there's also the whispered, deceptive menace of "All Hail Me" with its beautiful harmonies concealing a murderous lyric; "Get Back", the best Smashing Pumpkins grind of the past ten years, beating the Pumpkins at their own game; "25", opening with a feral guitar riff and ending in dripping teenage longing, and an acute document on young sexuality and confusion; "Wolf", a blazing guitar track about an unusually tender topic (a pet cat lost); "Number One Blind", a deliciously mischievous power-pop classic; "Celebrate You", a great anti-patriarchal cry.
The rawness of this album makes it accessible. Though Veruca Salt's best song is on its sophomore album ("Loneliness Is Worse" from Eight Arms to Hold You), American Thighs is the stronger work overall, and an overlooked classic of the '90s.
Like so many other fertile partnerships, Gordon/Post eventually split with Gordon going solo and playing Lilith Fair this year, while Post carries on with Veruca. Best of luck to them and bless their hearts for what they've already accomplished: They brought an earnesty, emotional resonance and lyrical depth to the jaded, cynical alt-rock scene.
I was blown away by them on stage. Untainted by fame or notoriety, this band was a force of nature. These two rather diminutive ladies could rock!
I met both Louise and Nina after the performance. Both were very engaging and I had an interesting conversation with Nina (who also drew a nice snail for me).
Then I heard the album.
For some reason it did not capture the elemental power of the band. The lyrics are somewhat easier to hear in the more smoothly produced studio versions, but they are a good deal less effective in their neutered form.
The videos that followed gave the band a boost, but although the album is strong, I don't think it was solid enough to withstand the band's flirtation with the microscope of fame.
I have no idea whatever happened to this band. I only felt moved to review this album when Amazon's purchase engine suggested it to me. All the same--in their time Veruca Salt was one of the best live acts that I've ever seen. They are worthy of remembering, even if the album isn't.
With hooks as gleaming as the stars shooting off of Wonder Woman's teeth, Veruca Salt powers past Breeders comparisons which are on track, but only halfway there. Instead of the Breeders' surf rock noodling, Veruca Salt dish up straight ahead riffs and meatier, more thought-out solos. Their songs seem a tad more focused, even mean. With lyrics about killing people, and bubbling withrage befitting of Roald Dahl's covetous brat, AMERICAN THIGHS sounds more like the bully compared to the Breeders' pothead road trip, chock full of tongue-in-cheek wordplay. "Number One Blind" praises the virtues of Levelor blinds, "Levelor, which of us is blind?/Levelor left me in the dark." And when they sing about "Spiderman," we relive their comic book childhood right along with them.
AMERICAN THIGHS shows a band with obvious potential, one with an impressive grasp of a rock guitar dynamic which does not cloud their freshness or their indie rock charm.
Most recent customer reviews
Obviously, I love everything about Veruca Salt that everyone has already mentioned 10 thousand times. Read morePublished on May 17 2004
Seether was a good song by an otherwise marginally talented band. The comparison to Hole is somewhat amusing from other reviewers as that band is a prime example of what a hack... Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by GFX
Louise and Nina, I want to marry you both and be your slave :) . You chicks ROCK. I love the songs "All Hail Me" and "Seether"--the only things better than... Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
I bought this cd way back in early 1995 during my high school years. I bought it because of the single "Seether" but it ended up being so much more than I expected. Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004
Words can not expain this record. To give you an idea: it's phenomental. This cd will be the gem in your collection. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by Seattle Food
American Thighs is one of my favorite albums of all time. Almost ten years after its release, I still reach for this CD as much as ever. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by mwreview
I remember when "Veruca Salt" came out, they had alot of hype around them. This album justified it. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003 by H3@+h
I fell in love with Nina Gordon when I first heard this album. Amazing guitar riffs, dreamy vocals, hot sexy babes. Pure class act and talent. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003 by skylarkinh775
Slamming guitars, great female vocals, this album made me want to be a rocker chick all through Junior High, High School...hell it still does. Read morePublished on April 3 2003 by Elaine Almquist