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Versus You/White Flag – Levitate The Listener

June 29, 2011 by  

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Versus You/White Flag – Levitate The Listener

NAME: Versus You/White Flag
ALBUM: Levitate The Listener
DATE: 4July2011

LABEL: Long Beach Records Europe


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Inspiring varied punk split release

LOCATION: Luxembourg/US

LINE UP: Versus You: Eric Rosenfeld (vox, guitar), Jimmy Leen (vox, guitar), Giordano Bruno (bass), Jerry Kirpach (drums), White Flag: Members: Pat Fear (vocals, lead guitar), Doug Graves (vocals, bass, guitar), Trace Element (drums), Kim Crimson (vocals, bass, keys)


WHAT’S THE STORY?: Split albums are always a treat and all too rare; the opportunity to evaluate and hopefully enjoy two artists on what is usually a journey of discovery, with the bands involved being new or not relatively known, is always intriguing. Long Beach Records Europe have not only released a split release but also made sure there is a bountiful supply of tracks from the two bands involved, bands that are not exactly a mystery to most either. Luxembourg punks Versus You and LA punk veterans White Flag have come together on Levitate The Listener with combined quality and enthusiasm to make an album that is not only rewarding and great fun, but also essential listening for those deeply into pop punk which has attitude and a rapier-like edge.

Of the two bands Versus You will be the least known, but for six years the band has been garnering and accumulating strong praise and adoration for their infectious sounds, hard riffs and inviting melodies. Providing seven tracks, they show why they are so respected and enjoyed around Europe and beyond, as well as having the opportunity to share stages with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, NOFX, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, and their well established partners here, White Flag.

With their contribution on Levitate The Listener, Versus You give full rein to their pop punk sound from the melodic, almost Green Day like, sounds of ‘It’s Fun To Be A Vampire’ and ‘This War Is Like A Drug To You’, to the harder, harsh edge of ‘The Mad Ones’ and ‘Quid Pro Quo’. The last two tracks opening up the album with a direct and thoroughly irresistible sound blending punk with some calmer smart melodies. Vocalist and guitarist Eric Rosenfeld is on fine form with his gravel like delivery, ably aided by fellow guitarist and co songwriter Jimmy Leen. It has to said that the bass of Giordano Bruno is the star of the show, with lines and riffs that drip out the speakers.

The best track of the Versus You tracks and on the whole album overall is ‘The Day I Came To Town’. With instant hooks and riffs, it boils up and drives along gloriously and from that alone many will find the urge to investigate the band further.

White Flag have been entertaining and pleasing fans for near on 30 years and across 23 releases and as Levitate The Listener shows, they are still as irrepressible and eager as ever. They also continue to write great punk tunes across many styles like the old school style of ‘Magically Delicious’ with its Ramones riff sounds, to the pop punk of ‘What Can I Do In A Day’.

Their tracks on the release carry great variation that keeps the listener on their toes and reflects the band’s rich and long history. Through their eight track contribution they plunge confidently into the waters of eighties post punk murkiness from Jesus And Mary Chain, jazzy ska punk in ‘Please Stand By’, and psychedelic pop punk from the sixties in ‘The Witch’ which also featured Versus You. All are created and performed with such joy it is hard not to be absorbed and pulled along with them, but it is the track ‘Architects’ which is the winner on their half of the album. It is hardcore/old school punk to devour and easily shows why White flag have not only enjoyed such longevity but why they are still respected musically by all generations.

Levitate The Listener is refreshing and a rewarding look back in history, with two bands in their different ways encapsulating punk at its finest. There is something for everyone on the album in plentiful supply; it is simply a release that has to be given attention.

SOUNDS LIKE: A meeting of old school and new vision punk in an infectious party.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: you like your dose of pop punk flavoured with some old school wizardry.


Submitted By Pete RingMaster



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