Veruca Salt reshaped the jagged, abrasive punk-pop of the Pixies and Breeders into a more accessible, riff-driven power pop formula that also borrowed from pop/hard rockers like Cheap Trick. It was a successful formula, both musically and commercially, yet it didn't ensure them indie rock credibility; in fact, they became one of the most harshly criticized bands of the post-Nirvana alternative rock era.
Led by guitarist/vocalists Louise Post and Nina Gordon, and also featuring bassist Steve Lack and drummer Jim Shapiro (Gordon's brother), Veruca Salt released their debut single, "Seether"/"All Hail Me," in 1994 on a Chicago-based independent label, Minty Fresh. Produced by Brad Wood (Liz Phair), the record became a word-of-mouth sensation, working its way to alternative and college radio stations. While supporting Hole on their fall tour, Veruca Salt released their debut album, American Thighs, on Minty Fresh, yet they soon cut a deal with Geffen, who re-released the album. "Seether" became an MTV hit as well, and soon the single was an across-the-board success. However, the group received scathing criticism from magazines and fanzines, claiming the band was nothing but rip-off artists, using Minty Fresh as a way to gain credibility. Nevertheless, the group's popularity didn't suffer, and American Thighs went gold, even though their next two singles -- "Number One Blind" and "All Hail Me" -- didn't attract half the attention of "Seether."
After releasing the stopgap, Steve Albini-produced EP Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt in 1996, the band returned in early 1997 with Eight Arms to Hold You, which found the band moving toward hard rock and heavy metal; although critical reaction was even more mixed, the album still reached gold sales status. Shortly after the album was completed, Shapiro left the band, and was replaced by former Letters to Cleo drummer Stacy Jones. Meanwhile, in the wake of rumors that Gordon and Post had been considering solo projects, it was confirmed in early 1998 that Gordon had also decided to leave the band and pursue a separate solo career. Undeterred, Post regrouped Veruca Salt as her own project, with a new lineup of guitarist Stephen Fitzpatrick, bassist Suzanne Sokol, and drummer Jimmy Madla; in the wake of the corporate merger that swallowed Geffen Records, Post also elected to jump ship, signing a new deal with Beyond. After taking time to craft new material, Post entered the studio with her new band and recorded Resolver, which was released in the spring of 2000. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide