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The Stars Are Insane

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Album Review

The Stars Are Insane is a record that sticks to the similar jangly pop guitar rock that was common in the mid-'90s. Versus set themselves apart by playing with subtle repetition, dramatic dynamics, and varied instrumental intonation. Distorted guitar and bass play off one another, while the drums set the even tempo. Basslines create melodies to the rhythm of the distorted guitar, switching from dreamy to a dry rock feel. The drums always have a good backbeat that creeps into the straight beat, changing things up a bit. Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups share vocal duties, both adding depths to the music. The vocals are sung with a sadness and pointed edge that brings a new dimension to the punch-ins of distorted guitar to clean tones. The mix of the record is of high quality; it allows you to enjoy both the music and the vocals equally. The songs may be a bit long for some, but they establish catchy grooves and creep a hummable melody in the jams at the end. "Blade of Grass" is the epic highlight of the record. The song is a jangly, three-chord progression with a haunting lead guitar jingle on top. The Stars Are Insane has the same pop/rock feel throughout, but if you focus on the individual tracks you will discover new delicate intricacies.

Customer Reviews

a true classic

agree with above. this is an incredible record. straight on, pure, artistic, fantastic!!


One of the top 10 records of the 90s. Perfection.


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