Versus – On the Ones and Threes

January 01, 1970

(Merge)

 

www.mergerecords.com

 

“Seven long years/I’ve been left for dead,” sings Richard
Baluyut on the angular, aggressive “Cicada,” against a battering-ram riff that
tilts off center and drums (brother Edward) that rattle and clatter like off-license
firecrackers. Like Mission of Burma, whose first full-length supplied the band
name, Versus cuts the rough with the smooth, soothing bits of melody washing
over brittle post-punk cadences.

 

Fontaine Toups, the band’s longtime
singer/bassist/guitarist, supplies pop serenity, her lead-sung “Into Blue,” the
album’s most accessible moment.  The
title track, closing the album, is far heavier, anchored with big power chords,
splattered with scattershot rhythm and eased, just a bit, by close, melodic
harmonies. Still there’s an aura of anachronism about this guitar-heavy
concoction of math and cotton candy which can sound like Unwound crossed with
the Trolleyvox as much as first-wave Burma.  

 

It’s as if they’ve been buried, like the insects in “Cicada”
for the decade, emerging — just the same, just as good, but weirdly out of
sync.

 

DOWNLOAD:“Cicada” “On the Ones and Threes” JENNIFER
KELLY

 

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