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On the Ones and Threes

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Album Review

A decade went by without so much as a peep from Versus, and the underrated indie rockers’ 2000 album seemed to be exactly what the title suggested: a last Hurrah. Sad for many, since this was a highly influential band of the ‘90s seemingly doomed to relative obscurity. Fortunately, though, in 2010, the original lineup reunited after amends were made between the Baluyut brothers Edward and Richard, who hadn’t played together since 1996’s Secret Swingers. Even more surprising than the long-delayed reunion, is how little the band has changed considering the amount of time that has passed. As ‘90s alt-rock finds a resurgence, it’s a perfectly timed return. Album standouts “Nu Skin,” “Gone to Earth,” and “Erstwhile” show off the sweet guy/girl interplay and clever harmonies between Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups, as well as the heavy dynamic shifts between mellow pop and raw guitar grunge. Even in the heavier moments, the album plays with a cool, unruffled composure that seems more easygoing than prior outings, making for a comfortable, welcome return.

Customer Reviews

Let's Electrocute!

Versus have nothing much left to say, and not many more riffs to play. One of the greatest bands of the 1990's is back!! And they're really boring and plain. Ordinary guitar riffs, lyrics that are poetic and detached from any emotion. Fontaine's voice has grown up, and now sounds like all the rest. A boring record, and I wish I could take back my $10.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

New York City indie rock favorites Versus evolved from the remnants of Flower, a band led by singer/guitarist Richard Baluyut. In the final months of Flower's existence, the group was joined by vocalist/guitarist Fontaine Toups, who remained with Baluyut in the short-lived Saturnine before the duo formed Versus (borrowing the name from an LP by Mission of Burma) with Baluyut's brother Ed. After playing their first shows with a lineup comprised of three guitars and a drum machine, Ed Baluyut relocated...
Full Bio
On the Ones and Threes, Versus
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