Versus The Man is a band comprised of Justin Lutz (guitar), Austin Black (bass), Jason Rawlings (drums) and Avram Neal (vocals/guitar). Versus The Man is from Salt Lake City, Utah and recently released their self-titled debut EP Versus The Man. The four songs fit under the umbrella of rock but get a little bit blurry after that. One thing I can say is there was a definite ‘90s vibe throughout all the songs.
One of the classic symptoms of young bands is they are still searching for a sound and that seems to be the case with Versus The Man. Their songs aren’t completely polarized and their own style starts to emerge but you can tell that they are still in the embryonic stage of their development. When you look at the songs on a micro scale it's obvious the band has some creative and technical talent. In fact every member is impressive and has moments in which they shine.
The band opens with “Going Home” which is the most upbeat and optimistic sounding out of the four. Although I’ve never seen the band live you can tell this song would translate live and most likely be a crowd favorite. There is a bit of a sublime vibe on this song. Neal sings “So far we've been only able to regress / I guess we're too eager to get home / Well said, well fed / We're starving on the outside and / Regress, regress.”
Things go darker after the first song and you can tell with the opening guitar riff on “Unseen.” I was reminded of the band Tool but that wouldn’t be the last time. The drumming is impressive and the guitars are distorted while Neal sounds indignant as he screams “Embracing the reality / Of my own fallibility / Embracing the loss of control / Embracing the humility.” The best moments in the song happen a little halfway through when the band goes into a musical interlude and Neal sounds reminiscent of Eddie Vedder.
“Pride” is a bright song that sheds the ominous vibes of “Unseen.” It’s a decent song but it also felt fairly predictable in a lot of ways. They sound like a different band with “Pride” which might be the highlight but is also the heaviest song on the album.
To say the band is eclectic would be a euphemism. The four songs do feel disparate and loosely related but the difference is arguably a hop more than a leap. This is a solid start and as I mentioned the band has creative and technical ability, which is immediately apparent. Keep your eyes on this band.
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