Written by Alex Bear
Do you ever wish punk would return to the glory days? Luxembourg’s Versus You are one band that agree, and they’re doing just that with their new album, Moving On. One of Europe’s most renowned punk bands of today, they keep elements of their roots while adding in fresher influences that are meant to be heard on radio stations worldwide. So grab your leather jacket, pull out those air guitars, and get ready to rock out.
In true punk fashion, “When It All Goes Down” opens the album with an anthem for friendships, with the mantra “can’t you see we’re still around?” providing a hook so fierce you’ll be bouncing around the room to it within seconds. There are echoes of Rancid, with Dario Bruno’s gritty vocals polished off by a solo from guitarist Eric Rosenfeld that strays into the realm of pop punk. “If The Camels Die, We Die” gets heavier, but the driving riffs are still prominent, reflecting the album’s title and overall theme: “we gotta keep moving on”.
Aptly moving on to a different take on an old style, when “A Way With Words” kicks in, MxPx will be the first thing that springs to mind—this could pass as one of the punk heroes’ B-sides. The winding vocals give the song its charm, and the repetitive chorus leaves you in no doubt how the lyricist feels, backed by a vibrant melody. And keep on rocking out, because “On The Town” is a bouncy punk-tinged ballad with a solo so powerful it’ll hit you like a train. There’s an unmistakable happy-go-lucky feel to the album, and “Be Better Than Me” proves that. The acoustic element is a definite highlight, and a guaranteed singalong for you and all your friends—it’s summer time, and this track is your new go-to jam.
Speaking of go-to jams, are you “Skinny And Distracted” like the Luxembourg rockers? This is the perfect teen/20-something anthem, and will make you feel more than a little bit better about not having your life together—you could always start a kick-ass band like they did! Moving Onreminds you that it’s okay to let yourself relax for a while and not worry about the future, and you’ve got a great soundtrack to boot.
“One That Can See” has a gritty edge to it, making it a good old-fashioned headbang-fest, and if you think there’s anything wrong with that, youshouldn’t be on this website. “Stay Down, Stay Strong” combines the headbang-feel of the previous track, and the feelgood element of the tracks before that—so don’t even try and stop yourself from air-guitaring. But if you really want to air-guitar, “Kitchen-Sink Drama” is so fast it could give The Ramones a run for their money, and the relentless drums could create enough drama to flood that kitchen sink they’re singing about.
Keeping up that relentless energy, “30 Pills” is not for the faint-hearted—but even with the heavy subject matter, the upbeat rhythms make it difficult to get too bummed out while listening. This track shows the healing power of music, and that just singing about something can provide a release for a few minutes. And “Still I Persist” maintains that release—we can guarantee you’ll be out of breath just from the mere act of listening to the past few tracks one after the after, they’re that much of an unstoppable force.
But your prayers for a breather are answered with the very next acoustic-led number called “You Are My Friend”. This final track brings the album full-circle, as it opens and closes with songs about friendships and solidarity. You get the feeling from Moving On that Versus You are a real tight-knit bunch of guys, and they’re ready to take on the world together.