Kill Verona - Trauma (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kill Verona

Trauma (2004)


Damn you, Kill Verona, you make it hard to write a review. You are not terrible- that would be easy. I could have been witty and said how listening to this was indeed "traumatic". You take a style popularized by bands like Taking Back Sunday, with your dynamic and mood shifts, but since you do it well it is not terrible. But, you are not great- that would also be an easy review. Being compared to the aforementioned band puts you in a group of say, thousands of other bands like you. On the first three listens or so, this EP did not stick, due in part to not being as catchy as the big-name peer. Not only are you not as catchy, you don't have the screaming; depending on one's opinion that could be good or bad. But it just seems that you're sitting on the middle ground most of the time. Perhaps a more flattering comparison would be old Small Brown Bike (probably more accurate too as far as melody is concerned) but you are much less ferocious. Also, your quieter moments sound a tad like the late Penfold. So basically, I cannot peg you exactly with even one band, perhaps disproving my "thousands of other bands like you" theory, but this just all sounds so familiar. Somebody help me out! Anyway, the EP…

"You're Talking to My Guy all Wrong" gets great when it gets soft in the middle, with nicely harmonized low range vocals, then a strong buildup helped by marching-style snare drum shoves the song into full gear at the end. "Hard Times, Black Lines" would be the stand out track on this five-track disc, with the harmonized back up vocals (do three guys actually sing live?) and then a furious staccato guitar rhythm on the bridge. Then lastly there is the expected acoustic track, Mirror, which is in some unconventional tuning (or at least with some weird chords) that keeps it interesting. Some nice vocal harmonies also appear, as well as TBS style opposing vocal lines- interesting vocals would have to be this band's strongpoint. Then the song adds drums and electric guitar and builds up, but only to the usual fare of breakdown beats with harmonized emo guitars. I guess my biggest problem with these songs in general is that they rarely ever get driving. They don't make you tap your toe, they are always in that slow half-time, with that emo chorus now-everybody-jump style drum beat. (I've just discovered that they do get driving in the verses of the first track "All of this and Learning" and briefly in "Hard Times…" but by the end of the EP I had always forgotten about those short moments… I need more!)

I could imagine Kill Verona being a good live band to see, and possibly hometown heroes back in Philly, but from what is on this EP I am not blown away by any means. Kill Verona, make yourself standout by focusing on your strong points, the vocal harmonies and brood longer on the soft stuff, then when you get loud, get my toes tapping. Just some constructive criticism, for this is not a bad release overall, it just all sounds too familiar.