Verbena

Into the Pink

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Verbena's 1999 album Into the Pink completes the group's transition from a Memphis soul/indie pop hybrid into a straight-ahead rock outfit. Indeed, with Scott Bondy's sardonic drawl and buzzsaw guitars, and Les Nuby's insistent drums at the forefront, Verbena resembles a souped-up, glossed-over version of the 1990s' most revered rock band, Nirvana. Adding to the sense of deja vu is Dave Grohl's production work, which dips into the polish Butch Vig applied to Nevermind. Though bassist/vocalist Anne Marie Griffin's vocals sweeten "Prick the Sun" and "Baby Got Shot," and ballads like "Lovely Isn't Love" and "Big Skies, Black Rainbows" add some sonic diversity to the album, most of Into the Pink sounds like forgotten mid-'90s grunge. Despite their lofty aspirations and patronage, Verbena just aren't as interesting as that other power trio whose name ends with "-na."

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