Following their successful debut in January, Verivery has made their first comeback. Attracting attention with their bright debut, “Ring Ring Ring” and EP Veri-us, their new offering, Veri-able is in much the same vein. While this isn’t a bad idea, or even a bad EP, the fact is Veri-able doesn’t live up to its full potential, hampered mainly by poor production and post-production choices.
The most noticeable aspect of “Ring Ring Ring” was the new jack swing influences, so it’s no surprise that Jellyfish decided to further ground Verivery in 90s sounds. New jack swing means they can play in the bright, youthful concepts that are popular while producing music with more bite than one usually sees with those concepts.
“From Now” and “Get Ready” are the clearest example of this. These are the tracks where Verivery shine. They wear manic enthusiasm well, having no issues keeping up with the production in terms of tempo or delivery. The sense of fun and liberty is infectious, pumping up the listener regardless of their actual location.
The grooves on both tracks are solid, providing a grounding force against the clunkier percussion– though I’m very glad to hear it in an age when so many tracks just don’t have a low end in their mix– and the synth flourishes. The usage of deliberate pitch-shifting in particular pops, elevating the tracks from decent to dance party.
The throwback aesthetic also shows up on requisite ballad “All I Do”. This is a 90s ballad, which means no barebone pianos here. Start with drums and keyboard riffs to amp up the anguish, then add some guitar on the bridge for extra oomph. Factor in the twinkling synths, the harmonies, the cooing, and “All I Do” it adds up a slice of glorious of vintage cheese. It’s a shame that this is also where the biggest flaw of the EP becomes glaring.
Veri-able has a lot going for it: distinct musical direction, a group that can work the sound their given with aplomb, and some fantastically sticky hooks. Unfortunately, it’s all held back from being above decent due to the poor mixing.
“All I Do” is where it becomes obvious: everyone sounds like their straining to hit the notes, even on the medium ones. The vocals are sharp, which stands out particularly against the softer production. Then there’s “From Now”, which has the opposite issue, with the vocals sounding washed out and restrained, as if Verivery could do more, but aren’t being allowed to do so.
This poor handling of the vocals is a consistent issue, buried on “Get Ready”, placed too far to the front in “Light”. Across the board, it feels that the concern with Veri-able was to flatter the instrumentation rather than the vocals. And while that can work on more production-oriented tracks, the fact is that “Love Line” and “Light” are both severely lacking in terms of melodic structure. The vocals are the only dynamic elements, so when they sound off-key when audible over the dirge of instrumentation, it’s a problem.
At the end of the day, Veri-able is a passable mini, especially if you’re in the market for some vintage 90s sounds or enjoyed Verivery’s debut. But if that doesn’t apply, there’s just not enough here to really grab the audience’s attention.
(Images via Jellyfish Entertainment, YouTube)