Thursday, November 20, 2003

 
Back in the early 90's, when chickfactor was just beginning to flex its muscles, Small Factory and Versus were, in a way, the Beatles and the Stones of a smallish New York area scene that took bits of Olympia innocence (see Beat Happening) and mixed them with a soupçon of east coast cynicism, a splash of Anglophilia, and a dollop of actual ability to rock out. I used to see them play together frequently, and while Small Factory possessed the charm (I think I'll feature them tomorrow), Versus tended to blow them away in concert, having received the larger share of the dollop of rocking out.

I tend to assume that anyone reading this can go to Allmusic for band details if they wish, so few if any will appear here. Versus' first non-single release was called Let's Electrify and it came out on their own teeny Remora label, and is worth a buck or two on eBay these days. It's one of the very few cases where the rare and out-of-print item is the best thing a band did. Here's the title track, and here's my own favorite song of theirs, That Girl's Gone. They had a longish career after this, and many of the albums are decent, but maturity didn't suite them well. Later albums had a tendency to plod along competently, which means that they were always better live. (However, their singles/demos compilation, Dead Leaves, is often far less than shabby.)



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