Hook Me Up - actually their second long-player, but the first to come out here - has bulked up since debuting Down Under in 2007. The UK edition adds no fewer than four bonus tracks, including recent hit '4ever' and future single 'Everything I'm Not', but the original 12-song album is strong enough to stand alone. It's packed full of hooky pop-rock in the Pink/Kelly Clarkson mould, all shot through with a healthy dose of electro edginess. If you liked their breakthrough single 'Untouched', you'll find plenty to enjoy here. Highlights include the fuzzy rush of 'Popular', the title track's paean to escapism and the clattering, angsty 'This Is How It Feels'.
What's great about Jess and Lisa, aside from their knack for a stonking great chorus, is that they're relatable. They sing about cheating and being cheated on, acknowledge that "other girls can be so mean", drop the F-bomb on 'This Is How It Feels', and don't shy away from showing their vulnerable sides on their ballads. They've got a playful streak too, lacing 'Take Me On The Floor' with a mildly titillating middle 8: "I wanna kiss a girl, I wanna kiss a boy." Many listeners – of either gender – would doubtless oblige.
The result is a thoroughly enjoyable pop record that still feels fresh two years after it was recorded. The UK edition may be a tad long, and some of the slowies aren't as much fun as the uptempo cuts, but the Veras deliver far more than they disappoint. At its best, listening to Hook Me Up is a bit like downing cherry vodka shots: sweet blast after sweet blast after sweet blast... with no sickly hangover at the end.
> Click here to read our recent interview with The Veronicas