Tag Archives: Versus You

Versus You – Worn And Loved

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Versus You - Worn And Loved

I would say that one of the main factors, that make me listen to a record repeatedly, is how much I can identify with it on a personal level, since I find little to no sense in listening to music that gives me nothing in return for my time spent. Now, what you take from music is very subjective and can differ strongly from case to case: some might be into lyrics, others more into the feeling that the instrumentation gives them, and so forth. Well, today I have the pleasure of writing a piece about a record that manages to push just the right buttons on several levels: Versus You‘s fourth full-length called Worn And Loved, which is going to be released this Friday, March 15th. So let’s go!

In essence, this new record is a return to what worked really well on the predecessor, Moving On, and delivers top notch pop punk. Even though I would say that it’s less on the pop side this time around, it still maintains super catchy and each song has an instant recognizability to it. In the five years that have passed between records, the quartet has switched drummers and I feel like he brings a breath of fresh air behind the kit. While I had nothing to fault in the past, I find the drumming even more diverse and full of small surprises this time around. I also really want to make a Spinal Tap joke here…but nothing good comes to mind.

When it comes to the guitar work, I am always impressed by the prolific songwriting that can be found in Eric Rosenfeld’s songs, no matter which moniker he releases them under. While the complexity is never on a virtuoso level, the execution and songwriting definitely are, because I dare you not to whistle along to the main riff of at least half of the thirteen tracks on your first listen. Which brings me back to what I said at the beginning: music is, for the most part, subjective and I always welcome well-written and uplifting music with open arms.

Despite the mostly happy sounding instrumentation, W&L is not a happy go lucky album by any means…and that is exactly what makes it so good. The thirty-five minute musical journey deals with many feelings and situations that people experience growing up. It is a raw representation of the many struggles that teenagers and young adults, that are often not touched upon by society as a whole. Be it anxiety over never being able to satisfy expectations of our parents or our friends, being alienated by our peers, or vice versa.

All in all, Versus You return with what I would consider their best record to date, and I feel like Worn And Loved has the potential of helping a few people who might be going through a rough time, by telling them that it is OK to not be perfect, that it will become better. In that spirit, if you want to have a, what I expect to be, great night, be sure to come to den Atelier this Friday, where the band is inviting everyone to a release show, free-of-charge. For more information, you can head to the band’s Facebook page and in order to get pumped, listen to the track below.

Versus You – Birthday Boys

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If I had to name one thing that I like the most about reviewing records, it is the fact that I am occasionally “forced” to listen to genres that I don’t dabble into on a regular basis. I am using the quotation marks, because it is my own decision which albums I review, and which I don’t, but I try to cover the majority of the national releases either way. Now, today’s candidate is definitely not out of my comfort zone, but in listening to Versus You‘s new EP Birthday Boys, and researching it a bit, I realized that there is a great deal of punk rock history that I am totally unaware of.

Immediately upon listening to the opening track, you are welcomed by a very different-sounding band than what you may be used to from the previous record, Moving On. In hindsight the title might as well have been an ominous foreshadowing of what was to come, but I don’t think it was intentional. Generally-speaking, the speed and intensity of the band’s entire sound has been dialed down from eleven to a comfortable six. While I have to admit that on my first listen I wasn’t quite sold on this decision, it ended up making sense on the second go.

These five tracks are, to me, an ode to the past: the band’s inspirations, as well as the experiences they went through individually and as a group. The result is a melancholic musical journey, which does, at times, allow a few glimpses of the brighter future ahead. In a way, it marks the end of an era and the opening of new paths.

To be frank, there is not much more that I could tell you about these seventeen minutes, because they need to be experienced. In order to do that, you can move your bums to Sang an Klang this Saturday, November 11th, where Versus You will be hosting a fairly massive release party. You can find more information about that and the upcoming releases on their Facebook page, so don’t be shy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHLAgbWWGDo]

Versus You – Moving On

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It’s been almost five years, but the arguably most well-known punk band, Versus You, from our small country is back with a new record called Moving On! The title fits exactly, since they have definitely evolved in this past half-decade: while they were always on the pop-punk side of the spectrum, this has become even clearer this time around…and I, for one, absolutely dig it! But let’s get down to business.

While the opener starts off with the almost overdone canon in D major, the rest of the song is a nice example of fast-paced good mood inducing pop punk, at least on the instrumental side. The rest of the twelve songs follows a similar pattern of up-beat and danceable power chords and straight-forward drumming with a multitude of fills. The occasional solo is also thrown in to break things up when necessary, while still keeping the song together…which is always welcome in my book.

Even though the main part of the thirty-one minutes seems to be cast from the same mold, there are two songs that separate themselves from the rest: the closing ballad You Are My Friend and the, simply brilliant, Be Better Than Me which features an acoustic lead melody and the perfectly-fitting female backing vocals by Hannah Smallbone. The thing that strikes me about them is that they provide such a beautiful contrast to the main vocals that makes this piece so catchy.

Earlier I mentioned that the instrumental side is on the happy side of life, but the lyrics in some parts touch on very serious matters, albeit sometimes in a tongue-in-cheek humorous way. A good example of that is the song 30 Pills which tells the story of an HIV-infected guy who has been rejected by society: even though the message itself is quite social-critical, especially the chorus has a ring to it that makes me smile every time I hear it…but then again, I tend to have a twisted sense of humor.

As a closing statement, I’ll stay that I much preferred Moving On to its predecessor since it’s just more in my ballpark of the punk genre. The clean and yet authentic sounding production, I have to say, played a big part in that as much as the generally catchy nature of the tracks. If you want to find out for yourself whether you like it or not and want to spend an enjoyable night, head on over to den Atelier in Luxembourg this Saturday, February 15th, since that’s where the band will have their release show! You can get a first taste below and more information on Facebook!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMWfCVCOKkQ]

Weakonstruction – 18 Minute Revolution

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After missing Weakonstruction at Rock de Stéier, I felt like I had to make it up to the guys so I bought their CD, for only 2 bucks, and decided to give it a go. So here you are: it’s time for an 18 Minute Revolution.

First things first: the guys play traditional punk, with no compromises. While it’s not the most technical genre there is, the music certainly manages to capture your attention with the simple but effective melodies. The instruments are well played and well produced, but there is no real highlight, like solos, which aren’t necessary but it could have spiced things up a little.

The clean vocals are generally quite enjoyable but the shouts could sometimes be a bit more powerful, the will is there anyhow. I should note that backing vocals are provided by Eric Rosenfeld of Versus You on a couple of the seven tracks. There is one song that particularly stands out to me though, the fourth one: Dicke Bertha, which is an ode to a, I hope, fictional groupie of the voluptuous kind with quite funny lyrics.

That pretty much sums it up, I’m sorry for not being able to provide you with more insight but I have to admit that punk isn’t exactly the genre I feel completely at home, so I’d recommend that you simply give these guys a listen and see if you like it. If not, go check out one of their shows, as I’m pretty sure that the live experience beats the CD experience. I’ll leave you with three things: first of all, Weakonstruction are releasing their new album Reinventing Ourselves this year, secondly you can check out their Facebook page to keep up with the band and last but not least, go check out their pretty amazing video below!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQOIeGpEwCM]