Versus – The Stars are Insane
Teen Beat, 1995
Acquired: Lawrence Antique Mall, Used, 2007
Not a bad deal for a pretty goddamned decent mid-90s indie rock record. They've got some debt to Unrest (they're on their label, natch) but they're a little darker. There are lots of boy-girl harmonies and no one in the band can really sing, and if the recording was anything more than mid-fi this might be a problem but since it's all got a DIY sheen to it the vocals end up sounding really great. The only anomaly here is “Blade of Grass,” which makes all the other songs on the record look bad. It's just that good. I had it on a mix cd for one of my radio shows once and it would always come on in the car. I never knew who it was and by the time I got home I always forgot to look up the lyrics and figure out who it was. It grew on me that way, then I found out it was Versus and then shortly after that I found this record and got really, really excited. It's a song to put on someone's mixtape. It's huge sounding, but it's also kind of lo-fi, which you think wouldn't work at all but it's perfect. The “ooooOOOOoooo” harmonies and soaring guitar parts work incredibly well together. The album closes with a song called “I'll Be You,” which is sadly NOT a Replacements cover, thus Versus will be docked points for this (and actively getting my hopes up by somehow overlooking the fact that there's a Replacements song of the same name. Although those points are reinstated for the line “I will not fuck you/ I will just carry your books,” which is pretty awesome.