Having been around since 2005, and having toured with pretty much every alternative household name in punk rock, Versus You are back with their signing to Bomber Music and their fourth studio album, Moving On. In July, the Luxembourg quartet will be heading over to the UK to tour the isle in support of their fantastic release.
No matter how many times I listen to this album, the opening guitar riff never fails to remind me of The 1975’s Sex, but as the track, When It All Goes Down, continues, it’s rather blatant they’re nothing the same. A strong opening ebbs off slightly for the lyrics and powerful vocals to take control, and which then become the driving force of the album. This forms an incredibly mature sound, and the rise and fall of the music – particularly in tracks such as A Way With Words – created by knowing when to unleash the sound and when to hold it back, highlights the sophistication of the record and takes the way the ugly feeling of each member clamouring for attention on every track.
Throughout, the album has a feeling of being a cross between Green Day’s trilogy, and anything Man Overboard have come out with specifically Skinny and Distracted, which shares the gritty down-to-earth realist attitude of ManO’s Atlas. Eric (Rosenfeld, vocals and guitar) has a shockingly honest manner of writing and his half gravely/half smooth voice perfectly suits his words. “I swallowed my anxieties and they turned me inside out”, taken from the sixth track off the album, Skinny and Distracted, is a perfect example of the factual representation of harsh emotions that occur throughout, missing out on being a cry for attention.
Versus You have created a release that treads the fine line between soppy pop rock, emotional pop punk, and brutal punk rock by creating an accessible album that can be listened to as a passion filled record to sing at the top of your lungs, or as a honest documentation of life. From lively, electric tracks such as Stay Down, Stay Strong, to sentimental and appreciative slower tracks like album closer, You Are My Friend, there isn’t a track on the album that isn’t well crafted and easily accessible to almost anyone; new fans of the band, those who’ve been there since the start, or if you’re just looking to get into a new punk rock band. An excellent summer-rock record.