Published Jul 27, 2010There are some great indie bands that, once they're gone, you never expect to come back. Then there are the bands that not only come back, but come back swinging. NYC's Versus have proved to be the latter with their new LP On the Ones and Threes, which shows they might have been down, but they certainly aren't out.
On the Ones and Threes is due out August 3 on Merge Records, but you can listen to it here, where it will be streaming all week on Exclaim.ca.
The album marks the band's first since 2000's Hurrah, and it doesn't hold anything back. Its mellow pop hooks are entangled in grungy guitar jams squeezed in between extended vocal bridges. There are enough simple ideas thrown together to feign complexity - and it works.
Versus have stripped down to three members: Fontaine Toups, and brothers Richard and Edward Baluyut. The trio obviously have chemistry, as they have a knack for seamlessly changing pace about four or five times in a single song.
That said, the album is a grab bag; in typical Versus fashion, there's a lot of hard/soft tradeoff. For example, the soft instrumentation and overlapping vocals on "Gone to Earth" leads into "Circada," one of the album's faster, heavier tracks. Sure, it's a bumpy ride, but it definitely keeps your attention until the end.
While Versus never became a indie rock household name like Dinosaur Jr. or Pavement, On the Ones and Threes shows that they're not only in the same ballpark, they're playing the same position.
On the Ones and Threes will be streaming until August 2 on Exclaim.ca.
Stay tuned for these future full-album streams on Exclaim.ca:
Shapes and Sizes Candle to Your Eye August 3 to August 9
Ray LaMontagne God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise August 10 to August 16
Mogwai Special Moves August 17 to August 23
Comeback Kid Symptoms + Cures August 24 to August 30