Irish garage goth quintet September Girls' early 2014 debut, Cursing the Sea, was a reverb-drenched slab of darkness, form fit to a template of Jesus and Mary Chain feedback, punked-up girl group harmonies, and attacks of cavernously recorded guitar leads. The four-song EP Veneer had appeared by the end of the same year, and offered a few more tunes and a slightly sharpened version of the sound that was sometimes a bit too blurry on their debut. Arrangements stick out here more vividly, with the quasi-surf foundation of "Butterflies" solidified by Bangles-meets-Joy Division vocal harmonies and waves of fuzzy Suicide-esque organ. The band's darker impulses come to the forefront in both the title track and the melodramatic gothiness of "Black Oil," a churning tune that sees breathless spoken word vocals meshing with a churning sonic backdrop of blown-out rhythms and floating keyboard tones reminiscent of early Cure or Siouxsie and the Banshees. With just four tracks, Veneer doesn't cover a lot of ground, but still sees the band stepping up in terms of songwriting and recording quality from their somewhat lackluster debut album.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas