Mostly it's hard to say what puts Veronica Falls over the top in a genre where so many fall flat. Enthusiasm? Personality? Songs? Probably all of that, as well as the indefinable quality that makes old genres come alive again.
While this sense of restraint feels deliberate, it does raise hopes that the band will fully go off the deep end the next time around. Nevertheless, Veronica Falls is an overall engaging album of contrasts.
For an album with no discernible weak links--we'll deduct a mark simply because half these songs were previously available--the final quarter is where Veronica Falls finds itself elevated alongside 2011's best.
Veronica Falls have carved into a niche that will always have a small but loyal following which will baffle those on the outside. Newcomers would do well to do their homework first, and enjoy this debut with a thousand points of reference.