Veda's hometown of Kansas City was immediately sold on its early sound -- a soaring, loose, emo-operatic, naked-soul-baring tidal wave fit for washing over today's tragic versions of when Andrew McCarthy met Molly Ringwald. Most endearing of all was Kristen May's trained voice, applied with tearful precision to the drifting, echo-addicted verses and pummeling choruses. At its worst, however, Veda was melodramatic and self-obsessed, a band of able but uninspired players surrounding a talented but inexperienced girl belting out banal lyrics from her diary. To borrow a lyric from "The Falling Kind," Veda's first unofficial hit: "Innocence is seen as weakness" for this band. But it's only pretend innocence, because on The Weight of an Empty Room, the group's first full-length, Veda shows more depth and experience than is typical for a band so young.