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The Finnish duo Verenn plays what could be described as radio friendly power rock pop. Their debut album, The Game, consists of ten mostly melancholic rock songs that are clearly written for a specific target audience. Although they (like every other band) say they don`t care about genre definitions, it`s not a secret that they are aiming to reach the same crowds as bands like HIM or Rasmus.
The Game is released through their own record label, Matara, and everything from recording, mixing and producing is done by the “bandleader” Jussi Järvenpää. I`m not too sure if this was the smartest way to do things. Someone from the outside could have brought in a little accuracy, because no matter how high Jussi regards himself, he`s not the worlds best sound engineer nor the most insightful producer. Especially on the vocal side an outside hand could have done wonders. Now it`s more a question of which is more annoying: The way too obvious use of auto-tuner or when it`s not being used and the singing is a little here and there. On the musical side Verenn isn`t all that bad, especially when they play melancholic soft rock, but as soon as they try to do it more metal it get`s pretty ridiculous. For example I was surprised that the naively preachy Scapegoats was chosen as the second song on the album, as for me it definitely sounds like a fill in song. I guess Verenn want’s to prove they can rock! Well, sorry boys, but not like that you can`t. But for the general feeling of the album, you can. Songs like Glasshouse or The Tide Is Turning are quite touching and have definite radio potential.
What Verenn needs to do is focus on their strengths, which are more in the soft, touchy bits, and leave the rest to those who it suits better. And also they need to learn some humbleness, and face the fact that they are not omnipotent but could use some outside help on the production side.
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