When discussing the various comparisons and likenesses of a still-undeveloped band one has to be careful not to put off any potential fans. However, when the song writing talent of a group is so abundantly clear as with Vernie and Bertrum, the only risk is the band not fulfilling their promise. Drawing influence from many classic sources their style hangs on the crisp melodies and articulate bass playing of lead singer Steve Gullon whose onstage banter puts that of most young bands to shame. In truth it’s the quartet’s live show that really displays their potential, as their EP was home-recorded and thus is quite flat by comparison.

Nonetheless, hiding between the rough edges of their debut record is a pop sensibility that many unsigned bands lack. It’s a sensibility that can best be heard in the better moments of Elliot Smith, Weezer, the Shins and particularly in the track Another Sunny Day by Belle and Sebastian. No matter what you think, it’s obvious that Vernie and Bertrum’s success will probably hinge and whether they can tidy up their recordings and do justice to all that potential. Check out www.myspace.com/vandb where you can listen to the entire EP for free along with a beautiful acoustic version of their track Sirens.

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