VERSUS YOU - Marathon

Versus You - Marathon

14 songs
47:55 minutes
***** ***
Fond Of Life


Punk poet Eric must be one of the busiest artists in Luxembourg. Now that Rise-Up are taking a time-out, and Broken Stars have broken up, he released a new solo-album as Communicaution and is finally back with his all new band Versus You, where he is helped out by Giordano (Broken Stars, Last Millennium Suckers, Extinct) on bass and Pit (Eternal Tango) on drums. Despite the punk and hardcore backgrounds from the musicians involved, Versus You head into a much more melodic direction, just the way I would imagine Communicaution with a backing band. It would probably be unfair to call them just that, but with Versus You, Eric finally has the opportunity to use his raw melodic voice under electric surroundings. What sounded sometimes not too finished on his solo outputs is magically transformed into charming indie punk rock inspired by Jawbreaker (who are covered on the hidden bonus track), Swervedriver, Dinosaur Jr, and reminding me of later-period Hüsker Dü and Rancid, mostly because of the street attitude you just have to expect from an artist like Eric.

It also comes as a surprise that Marathon has NOT been released on Winged Skull, the label co-owned by bass player Giordano, and maybe this separation of powers also helped to give this album a freshness you rarely encounter on Luxembourgish rock albums. Marathon is full of hits, and Versus You even created a video-clip for Crush which you can watch on YouTube, and frankly, in times where we all enjoy fast Internet connections, who still needs video-clips on a CD-ROM part that you won't watch anyway. This online solution is much more convenient.

Versus You can still be seen as a punk band, but it's the slower songs like February Smiles and the great if long-titled That's One Nice Thing About Carousels, They Always Play The Same Songs that elevate Versus You above everything the involved musicians have released before. The (comparatively) long running time should give everyone enough songs to pick out and like instantly. I am sincere: I had initial doubts about Versus You, as just another side-project, but Eric and his men strongly prove that Versus You is a force to be reckoned with.

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