Versus – “Invincible Hero” (Stereogum Premiere)

It’s hard for me to tell how many people remember Versus. There was this moment in the early ’90s when everyone I knew had their “Insomnia”/”Astronaut” and “Bright Light”/”Forest Fire” 7″‘s on repeat. (And then the Let’s Electrify EP, their first full-length The Stars Are Insane.) If blogs and Twitter and all of these other heightened forms of dissemination had existed, they would’ve done the Late Night circuit and ended up defining some or another sound in New York Magazine, etc. Just like now, amid the mediocrity, there are bands who get it, have something to offer, and carve their own weird angles: In the early ’90s, Versus stood out that way. The NY trio was part of the period’s indie-pop scene, but they’d named themselves after a Mission Of Burma album, had something more haunting in the harmonies of Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups and powerful in their dynamic guitar parts. That, and Baluyut (his brother Edward played drums) didn’t look like your standard indie-rock frontman. Re-listening to a bunch of the groups associated with TeenBeat and Simple Machines from that moment, Versus have aged especially well. (Same goes for Unrest.) Maybe folks noticed this when they reunited in 2007. Now you get to hear how they sound at 20 on record: In August the original lineup’s releasing On The Ones And Threes, their first in 10 years. Listen to the lead track, “Invincible Hero.”

Versus – “Invincible Hero”

As far as the album title, Richard explains: “That’s pretty much my worldview right there. It’s about being out of step with everyone else, like Minor Threat. It’s also a joke about Europeans clapping.”

The tracklist:

01 “Invincible Hero”
02 “Nu Skin”
03 “Into Blue”
04 “Gone To Earth”
05 “Cicada”
06 “Erstwhile”
07 “Pink Valhalla”
08 “Saturday Saints”
09 “Scientists”
10 “The Ones and Threes”

On The Ones And Threes is out 8/3 via Merge. It’ll be available as a CD and a Deluxe Edition double LP that’ll include an alternate sequence and two bonus tracks form the On The Ones sessions. Or you can get those additional tracks if you pre-order the CD starting 6/8. Of course, Versus is participating in the TeenBeat reunion shows: See them at the Bell House (7/9) and at the show at the Black Cat (7/10). More non-TeenBeat tour dates to come.

Tags: Versus