On the Ones and Threes

BY Michael EdwardsPublished Aug 3, 2010

Until the Merge Records 20th anniversary concerts, it looked like Versus had disappeared off the face of the planet. After all, it's been ten years since their last album, and while nobody sent out a search party, there's no denying they made some great music during their career. The core of the band (Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups) are rejoined by the two other Baluyut brothers, and it's like they never left. Not surprisingly, On the Ones and Threes sounds a lot like Versus have always sounded, or at least how they should sound on their sixth album, with the requisite amount of forward movement. As always, the record sounds absolutely immaculate: one of the band's trademarks. Plus, they still have that ability to shift dynamically during and between songs in a way that sounds balanced. For every moment of sweetness, such as "Into Blue," there are some forceful, angular guitars lurking just around the corner. If anything, there's more discord and brooding than usual, giving On the Ones and Threes an ominous quality that'll hang around until they make it back into the studio. Hopefully it won't be too long, because Versus still have plenty to offer.
(Merge Records)

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