Versus The World


Written by: MAK on 28/07/2015 03:02:41

When I heard that Versus the World were releasing a new album, my attention was pricked with some excitement in hearing what the four-piece had to offer us. The Californians’ presence has sauntered along the back-end of the punk scene for the last decade, occasionally gracing us with their easy going pop-punk melodies and angsty attitude. What does come to my surprise, however, is that the angst side seems to have disappeared with this new release “Homesick/Roadsick”. In 2005, on their self-titled debut album, Versus The world sounded like an easier-going, slightly poppier version of Silverstein: full of nice punk-rock and pop rock melodies that were counterbalanced by flashes of a more aggressive side — a combination which fit perfectly into the mid 00’s era that was dominated by pop-punk and post-hardcore.

Fast forward 10 years, and maturity seems to have affected the band’s song writing. The quartet appears to have taken more of a mellow approach with “Homesick/Roadsick” in comparison to its predecessors. Instead, slower beats accompanying softer pop-rock melodies now dominate much of the album. Songs like “The Black Burner” and “A Storm Like Me” are the slow-burner types that are more likely to encourage sing-a-longs rather than entice a crowd to go crazy. The hooking chorus in the latter is the only real highlight in these mellow tracks, as the words “Go on, go on!” become impossible for you not to sing aloud. While this softer side to Versus The World is easy listening, it ultimately fails at grabbing one’s attention, leaving the saving factor to “Homesick/Roadsick” the fact that there are some early Versus The World-sounding, angst-ridden songs that I had originally hoped for on here as well. “Seven. Thirty One”, “Bullet Train”, “Our Song” and “Detox/Retox” are just a few songs from the 11 that have some sort of edge to them, delivering faster paced beats and dirtier riffs for us to sink our teeth into. If only there was more of this…

The main problem with “Homesick/Roadsick” is that apart from the catchy chorus in “A Storm Like Me”, nothing truly stands out; none of these songs keep me hooked, not even the few faster songs. The majority of songs here are the types that come onto shuffle and you don’t exactly skip them, but you wouldn’t purposely hunt for them in your playlist either. As a whole then, “Homesick/Roadsick” is rather more underwhelming than I had expected, and it doesn’t come near touching either of its well-written predecessors. When you consider Chris Flippin’s talents in Lagwagon, and who Versus The World’s peers are in the Californian punk scene, “Homesick/Roadsick” is in fact very average and disappointing.


Download: A Storm Like Me, Seven. Thirty One, Bullet Train
For The Fans Of: Alkaline Trio, So They Say, Rufio, The Sleeping

Release date 23.06.2015
Kung Fu Records

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