La Musica Negra

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Things can get really dark in the backwaters of Alabama, a swath of territory this guttural punk-blues trio is mighty familiar with. Although Verbena's members don't wear Delta influences on their sleeves, the band's music is vividly colored with stains you can only get from drunken rolls on dirt floors. Frontman Scott Bondy is more of a yelper than a singer -- with more than a passing similarity to Kurt Cobain on songs like "Way Out West," which gains added emotional punch from an eerie, organ-laced intro, and "It's Alright (Jesus Told Me So)," but that's well suited to the muzzy surroundings here. La Musica Negra is considerably less polished than the band's last ...
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AUDIO CD Very Good 724352737307 U.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Things can get really dark in the backwaters of Alabama, a swath of territory this guttural punk-blues trio is mighty familiar with. Although Verbena's members don't wear Delta influences on their sleeves, the band's music is vividly colored with stains you can only get from drunken rolls on dirt floors. Frontman Scott Bondy is more of a yelper than a singer -- with more than a passing similarity to Kurt Cobain on songs like "Way Out West," which gains added emotional punch from an eerie, organ-laced intro, and "It's Alright (Jesus Told Me So)," but that's well suited to the muzzy surroundings here. La Musica Negra is considerably less polished than the band's last outing, 1999's Into the Pink, with rough edges dragging through murky waters on "Devil in Miss Jones" and "Me and Yr Sister," the latter of which flaunts a particularly pelvic-directed rhythm. Unlike many modern purveyors of thudding rock, Verbena don't actively ape Alice in Chains, but Bondy's desolate worldview and the sinister glint that emanates from the band's riffage mark them as kindred spirits in the "none more black" stakes.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
After aping the Stones on their debut album, Souls for Sale, and crafting a poppier version of Nirvana's angst three years before the Vines did on Into the Pink, Verbena returns with La Musica Negra, an album that, theoretically, could be called an improvement over their other work because it isn't focused on painstakingly re-creating another band's sound. In practice, though, it's probably Verbena's weakest work yet, precisely because they don't have a template to go by. Charged-up rock songs like "Way Out West" and "It's Alright, It's Okay Jesus Told Me So" still have a bit of Cobain-esque raspiness fused with some currently popular blues and garage rock elements, but manage to sound big and obvious without becoming catchy or powerful. As with Into the Pink, La Musica Negra's pop songs and ballads show some promise; "Camellia" makes good use of Anne Marie Griffin's voice before it morphs from simple prettiness into an overblown, gospel-tinged jam, while the countrified "Ether" fares a little better since it's more restrained. The bouncy and buzzy "Me and Yr Sister," and despite the fact that it sounds like nothing else on the rest of the album, "Dirty Goodbyes" -- a slightly jazzy ballad based on piano, strings, and brushed drums -- works for the same reasons. From the over-produced sound to the frequent mentions of Jesus in the lyrics to the disjointed influences from which it draws, La Musica Negra fails not because Verbena doesn't try hard enough to make interesting rock music, but because they try too hard. This album might reflect some baby steps toward finding a sound of their own, but they've still got a long way to go.
Rolling Stone - Christian Hoard
Full of chunky, wailing guitars and singer-guitarist Scott Bondy's understated sneer.
Blender - John Ratliff
It's ass-kicking rock for people who would never wear a Creed T-shirt.

Full of chunky, wailing guitars and singer-guitarist Scott Bondy's understated sneer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2003
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724352737307
  • Catalog Number: 27373

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Verbena Primary Artist
Ambrosia Parsley Background Vocals
Scott Bondy Guitar, Vocals
Nick Daviston Bass
Emily Kokal Background Vocals
Lester Nuby Drums
Technical Credits
Ted Jensen Mastering
Rob Schnapf Producer, Engineer
Doug Boehm Engineer
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