Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reviewed: Versus - On The Ones and Threes

[MP3/Stream] Versus - Invincible Hero

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, my brother introduced me to Versus by way of the bands debut full length, The Stars Are Insane. In fact after hearing that record in 94' I borrowed it from my older sibling and never returned it, sorry bro. After my Versus introduction I purchased pretty much everything the band released and caught them live on couple of fateful evenings, and then without warning they were gone. Sure James Baluyut went on release music under +/- with former Versus member Patrick Ramos, Richard Baluyut formed Whysall Lane, and Fountaine Toups concentrated on The Fountaine Toups, but as much as I enjoy those hiatus projects, something was missing, that something was one of indie rocks most consistently engaging bands.

Ten years in the waiting, One The Ones and Threes marks the return of Versus and the return of original member Edward Baluyut. However instead of sounding like a comeback album or a band trying to recapture some of their past glory, On The Ones and Threes sounds like the album the band would have made had they not taken at ten year break. The album kicks off with the sixties infused pop and chunky guitars of Invincible Hero, and just like that Versus are back with arguably 10 of their finest songs, 12 if you pre-ordered from the bands label, Merge Records. The album's center piece, Cicada is a Burma-esque romp that burst out of the gates and never lets up, and has me reaching for a replay with each listen. When I first heard that Versus were returning as a three piece with original nucleus of the band intact, I was thrilled, but I had no idea they would deliver such a strong and instantly lovable record. On The Ones and Threes combines the pop gloss of 2000's Hurrah with the bands grit found on their early recordings, pretty much the perfect marriage of the bands strengths. The album is full of sublime melodies and finely crafted songs from a rejuvenated band at the peak of their powers. I for one hope they stick around for awhile (this time).

One The Ones and Threes gets it's official release today, August 3rd and the band will be in town to support Superchunk at Royale Boston on September 21.

Buy the album at the Merge Records Store

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