The electronic/rock duo Version 5 consisting of brothers Andy and Spencer Olson have said their music is perfect for fans of Nine Inch Nails and Linkin Park. It’s really an accurate statement. When I listened to their three-song self-titled EP Version 5 those were the two bands that immediately came to mind. It does sound as if the two bands melded into Version 5.
All things considered Version 5’s songs seem to have more mainstream viability and are less likely to feel the underground’s embrace. The three songs all have a single-worthy, radio ready quality that will resonate with a large demographic. That being said the two bands, which Version 5 sounds similar to were at their peak years ago. Is there a place for this industrial electronic/rock hybrid? Of course, the fact is that genres can have a resurgence and are often cyclical. Hair metal will most likely never be as popular as it was in the ‘80s but just look at what the Darkness did twenty years later,
The duo opens with “Why Don’t You Drop” which contains a heavy beat and distorted guitars which certainly could be labeled as industrial but feels more dance based. The Junior Boys came to mind at points. One of the most engaging aspects of the song is the dynamic vocals. It goes from sounding stoic and almost monotone to adrenaline-filled energy.
The forward momentum of “Bury You” certainly has some similarities to NIN’s most notable work from the ‘90s. This time around the vocals are fierce and feel aggressive but still have moments where the words are soft spoken. The last song “Take You There” felt like the most radio friendly song. It’s catchy right off the bat and will certainly resonate with fans of Linkin Park.
I was glad to hear the attention to detail in the production and hi-fi quality on this EP. There is certainly music that can get away with lo-fi and this isn’t it. You can clearly hear the lyrics, the guitars sound great and you can feel the thud of the low-end. It’s hard to make any definitive statements about Version 5 but they built a solid foundation. I hope to hear more soon.
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