Versus the World’s new album, Homesick/Roadsick is a truly amazing experience, with a unique concept about it. The whole album is based around the concepts mentioned in the title – being sick for home and being sick for the road at the same time, a struggle that the members of Versus the World should know well.
The album starts out with “The Santa Margarita,” which was penned by vocalist/guitarist Donald Spence for his friend Tony Sly, who was the front-man for No Use For A Name. It’s a guitar heavy track with passionate lyrics that grabs you by the hand and practically demands that you pay attention to it. It gives you the feeling that you’re listening to something remarkable, and that same feeling is there throughout the whole album.
There’s a really magnificent flow from one song to the next. They can all be interpreted in different ways, but you get that feeling that they connect and relate to each other in ways that aren’t entirely comprehendible your first listen through. Homesick/Roadsick isn’t supposed to tell stories, but generate feelings. You’re supposed to get lost into the music, head-banging and singing at the top of your lungs. That’s the purpose of music, but Versus the World uses their talent and experience to take it to an entirely next level. And it’s obvious from the first song to the last that the members of Versus the World poured their heart and soul into this album.
Not every note of every song on Homesick/Roadsick is unique. They revisit the same melodies, the same chords, and ultimately it’s what helps create that nice flow that the album has. But what makes Homesick/Roadsick so amazing instrumentally and vocally is the way that they use and re-use those elements, because it generates a new feeling each and every time.
One of the songs that really stood out above the rest is “The Black Ocean.” Filled with passionate lyrics and a hell of a lot of emotion, the song connects with its listeners on an almost spiritual level. At first listen through, it’s just filled with a bunch of highly quotable, inspirational one liners. But when you really sit down and listen to it, “The Black Ocean” is so much more than that.
But as much as I love “The Black Ocean,” every song is like that – filled with so much more than might first meet the eye. Earlier I talked about how you could tell that Versus the World really poured their heart and soul into this album. But really, that’s only the beginning of it. Any art form is only as great as what the artist puts into it. The reason that these songs generate so much emotion and feeling in the listeners is because of all of the heart, soul, and passion that Versus the World poured into it. The fact that they’re not afraid to put their emotions into their music is what makes Versus the World such a great band. And Homesick/Roadsick proves that.
Homesick/Roadsick is available through Kung Fu Records on June 23rd, 2015.