Versus Vs. Verses

We're Not Who We Wish We Were

Written by: BW on 27/04/2014 20:47:01

Certainly, as band names go, Versus Vs. Verses is one that stands out from the crowd, although after a little bit of digging around there is not really a great deal of info to find about this Experimental Rock band (two guys, Mark Beitle and Brian Hatcher, from Oshawa, Canada); but the first showing of their music in major form is with the EP “We’re Not Who We Wish We Were.” What do the three V’s have to treat our ears with on this first outing and is it good enough to make us wish we were listening?

Strangely enough, the first thing I noticed on this EP was that every song on the 22 minute album was roughly track release length, about three and a bit minutes. You may be wondering what relevance this has to anything, but I’ll fill you in later. We start off with “Visions of Blurry Lines” and it is a bit of a slow starter, the intro lasting a shade too long for my personal liking, but once we head into the track itself we start to get some idea of what this band is about, with some properly sweet chord changes, as well as the screams hitting their place at the right times. Regular readers of my reviews will know I believe there’s always room for a scream here and there, but it needs to be done right and this is a good example of that. It’s a bit angrier than something Linkin Park would have hit you with in their "Hybrid Theory" days, but it is better for it.

“Cosmonaut” has a different speed and feel, as well as a nice initial melody. Sadly though, for the promise it has at the start it just doesn’t seem to take off in the way you think it will. In my eyes I think it needs a bigger chorus and maybe an extra instrument here or there. Either way there is something not quite there to make it special. The middle instrumental part is nice though.

I much prefer “The Dark Water” as this I think proves what they can do when everything is balanced right. Quiet piano, nice subtle bass in the right place, along with some nice harmony and angry shrieks at the right moments. I’d say this is one of their strongest tracks on the EP looking at it. It feels nicely eerie and dark and sometimes that’s all you want when you put this genre of music into your player.

“Better Life” is the weak link in the album to be brutally honest. After listening to it a few times, I just don’t feel like it gets my emotions racing and there is a feeling of a missed opportunity with it. It just doesn’t have the clout that some of the other songs on show have and there’s nothing worse than knowing what a band can do after hearing other tracks and then listening to something that is almost underwhelming compared to the rest.

Listening to the EP, I come to the conclusion that in the right places and when on the limit Versus Vs. Versus can deliver a knockout song and bring some really good vibes through to your eardrums, but other than the two standout songs, the rest of the album feels like it was almost playing it safe or holding something back. “Old Timer” and “The Signal” are a lot like “Cosmonaut” in that you feel there could be something about to make your soul sing, but it never comes, whereas with “The Dark Water” and “Visions of Blurry Lines” I do believe that these guys are capable of something you’d want to listen to for a long time indeed.

The reason I brought up the time issue is that I also believe that a song in the 6 minute bracket would be a good idea, allowing for one of those traditional rock/metal epics and when done right it is those songs that can stick in the head. There is enough talent on show to produce that, but only time will tell us if this can come to fruition. Overall though, I can see odd glimmers of genius, but the rest of the album just stops you from wanting to fully commit to it. Keep trying though, fellas.


Download: The Dark Water, Visions of Blurry Lines
For The Fans Of: Linkin Park, Deftones, 30 Seconds to Mars

Release date 17.04.2014

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