Versus the Mirror and Action Reaction…Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2006 @ 8:51am » permalink
"Home" is the debut full-length from Arizona's Versus the Mirror and marks another very solid screamy emo kind of release from Equal Vision Records. The first thing that hit me about this band was that I kept waiting and waiting and expecting the big "singing part" to kick in – but it never did! They're pretty dynamic musically in terms of balancing heaviness and shimmery clean passages with hints of grating aggression scattered throughout the otherwise generally melodic rhythmic pulses, but the vocals are just relentless screams through and through, they never play into the formula by switching over to singing vocals, which is actually a pretty cool surprise. Of course, that being said, this is not something that I would consider to be particularly original. It's a little crisper and more "polished" than the über-D.I.Y.-underground type of screamo stuff (you know, the kind of thing where everything comes in a hand-screened sleeve with flowers pressed into the paper or whatever – though I must point out that the layout on this CD is slick as fuck and uses loads of gorgeous gloss finish patterns throughout), but it does still have a certain ruggedness around the edges. So I guess that, as usual, it all boils down to the songwriting for me: Strong riffs and memorable arrangements hold my attention, and these dudes are in a good position in terms of neither sounding "cheap" (i.e. overly simplistic) nor "artsy". They seem to be settled into a fairly consistent niche of what they do best, and that's what they do – pushing the boundaries out just a tad without diving off the deep end. Hey, what can I say? I like it.
Those aren't necessarily the best songs herein, but since the label's already provided a few different sample tracks from the disc I don't want to give away too much more, and as I said, it's pretty consistent, so these are as strong an example as any, I suppose. If you like it, pick it up: