How The Veronicas' new album proves they can still bring the energy after 16 years
The Veronicas have been behind some of music's most anthemic moments. Now, GODZILLA proves they've still got it.
If you're the type that yells along to songs with fists clenched and hands in the air, there's a strong chance that The Veronicas have been a source of serotonin for you at some point over the last two decades. Since making their debut back in 2005, the sisters - Lisa and Jessica Origliasso - have been behind some of Australian pop's most anthemic moments, capturing an energy early on that has barely left the Origliasso twins despite everything they've been through in the last 16-odd years, whether it be publically, privately or musically.
When you think about it, it's hard to find a Veronicas song that doesn't hands-down slap. Early favourites like 4ever, Hook Me Up and Take Me On The Floor welcome the mania of late-2000s alt-dance-pop hitting its peak, full of the rushing passion and euphoria that defines that time period's pop music craze. Even the more low-key and personal songs dance with liveliness, and who can forget Untouched? The Veronicas said it best themselves, when we interviewed them two years ago: "Let’s hope if we give distorted guitar screams, 80s synth and iconic violin openings, people won’t sleep on it for 12 years this time."
Obviously so much has happened in the decade between The Veronicas' earliest peak and now, much of it being broadcasted through gossip mags and reality TV. In 2017, for example, The Veronicas were almost split apart from "something that tried to distort what it’s really about for us," and their planned album at the time was pushed back as the tension between the pair was dramatised through magazine covers. "How things are framed in a public respect isn’t necessarily reflective of the reality of what’s going on behind closed doors," Jess told us in 2019.
Songwriting presented itself as a form of therapy for the duo both together and separately, allowing them to process their emotions and eventually, bring them together once again. Based on that, you could perhaps assume that the music they were creating at the time thrived in its intimacy and personal touch, and it did - the work The Veronicas have put out over the last year have been some of the most personal they've ever put out - but that doesn't mean their music has 180'd itself to something more subtle and songwriting-esque. In fact, The Veronicas are maybe the loudest they've ever been.
GODZILLA is the first half of a pair of albums The Veronicas are releasing throughout 2021, capturing the turbulent highs and lows of their last decade through two distinct sounds: the manic high-energy of GODZILLA (out now), and the singer-songwriter roots said to be shown on HUMAN, the second-half scheduled for release on June 25th. HUMAN appears to be the more reflective and down-tempo of the pair, but GODZILLA - if nothing else - proves that The Veronicas are still capable of bringing the loud spark they've become loved for, even after so long.
From the get-go, GODZILLA captures the same part-manic, part-chaotic pop energy that defined The Veronicas early on. The album-opening title-track GODZILLA is amongst the fieriest three minutes of The Veronicas' entire discography, with pop-punk-inspired vocals moving amongst a rush of instrumentation that feels plucked from the mid-2000s, brought forward into 2021 to ensure the pair don't get stuck in the past. Songs like Kaleidoscope continue that trend of warped energy - the pair's vocals twisted and turned to near-unrecognizability - while In My Blood feels just as exciting as it did with its initial release in 2016.
While the album's second half lowers the tempo slightly, GODZILLA relishes in the chaos that has been long associated with The Veronicas, both musically and in the public eye. You can't guess why the sisters will be splashed across headlines next - plane altercations? Reality TV beef? Social media sassiness? - and that's a feeling that manages to translate into their music, like how GODZILLA can whip you with punk energy one minute, before completely flipping into dance-pop the next. It's impossible to keep up, but you can't help but tune in and dance along.
"That song is a true representation of us at that time and I think it was just ahead of its time; very electro and quirky, with the violins – of course – the guitars, the electronic beats," Lisa told us about Untouched when we first met, and it's easy to see how GODZILLA lives in the same vein, unlike anything else you can hear within the commercial pop music umbrella. "It was a hybrid song and it wasn’t necessarily trendy or like anything played on radio at the time."
There's a special trait to The Veronicas' music, one that's been broken down by analysis and screamed along at parties since their entrance 16 years ago. Even when they're making the most personal and intimate music they can, The Veronicas prove they can bring a recklessness and chaoticness to pop music that you won't find anywhere else - whether it be back then, or right through to today. It's something that was shown with 4ever, and again with Untouched, and now a decade later with GODZILLA - The Veronicas just can't help but bring energy.
Likewise, it's something that can be easily shown on the live stage, too. When The Veronicas made their return to festival stages pre-COVID, we were there: "It was among the festival’s largest and liveliest crowds, and despite only having a thirty-minute set-time, the sisters brought everything," we wrote of their set at Origin Fields Festival in 2019. "Let’s just book The Veronicas for festivals whenever we can, please?"
You'll also be able to see it as The Veronicas travel across the country in support of GODZILLA, with their headline tour speeding through Perth at HBF Stadium on June 12th. It's a headline tour that's been quick to make waves thanks to its fiery atmosphere, and considering the heaviness of The Veronicas' discography, could you expect anything less?
I don't think so, but maybe come along to find out. And hey, you might just hear the national anthem while you're there: