Veronica Falls' self-titled album debut from 2011 was one of the brighter spots in the C86 resurgence that's been jangling through countless indie-pop bands these past few years. Effortlessly picking up the torch from groups like the Vaselines, Pastels and Shop Assistants, this Scottish quartet added their own morose lyrical flavor to the fast reverbed guitar strums and melancholy girl/guy melodies, and created a new classic for the twee canon. Of course for a band whose young career was built on one of rock's most basic, time-tested formulas, the making of a second album must have been especially vexing, yet Veronica Falls have avoided the dreaded sophomore slump by sticking to their guns, for the most part at least. Noticeably scaled back, though, is the goth-tinged subject matter of their early singles and the first LP (a la "Found Love in a Graveyard"); not counting "Buried Alive," much of group's focus here is on navigating through real life relationships and a 20-something person's concerns of coming to grips with impending adulthood and responsibilities -- during "Everybody Changes, " Roxanne Clifford pines, "I don't know how old I am, but what do I care?" Working with Roy Atterwell (Male Bonding, Vaccines), Veronica Falls have also dialed back the reverb, opting for a slightly cleaner sound while injecting a little more '60s girl/psych-pop-influence into the mix, with songs like "Broken Toy" and the title track bringing to mind late-'80s-era Primitives, not to mention a little Velocity Girl thanks to the vocal interplay between Roxanne and Patrick Doyle and James Hoarse. Much like their debut, Veronica Falls aren't really breaking new ground here either, but the songs are great, with some subtle yet unexpected twists (check the "Marquee Moon"-cribbing guitar solo that comes out of nowhere during "Tell Me") to make a strong case for the old adage, if ain't broke, don't fix it.
"If You Still Want Me"