Posted by: Johnny Loftus on May 30, 2008 at 9:00 am


We Versus the Shark, Dirty Versions (Hello Sir, 2008)

Listen: “Keep it Wolf”
[audio:http://www.detour-mag.com/audio/KeepItWolf.mp3]

It’s not until a few minutes of disjointed musical shouting unfolds that “I Am the President of the World,” the opener on Dirty Versions, We Versus the Shark‘s second full-length, finally forgoes all the dancing around a moment and tears into the hearty riff at the center of the whole bit. “Mr. Ego Death” gets to it faster; they keep gnawing at that meaty center like it’s all they ever wanted to eat, anyway. That’s the thing about WVTS, though. A four-piece from Athens, Ga. who have put out some solid work over the last few years, they’re still of a piece with a group of bands who are based in the same set of influences, likely share a median age, and probably play shows with Shark when they come through their town. That’s no slight — with an engaging male-female dynamic on the mic and the ability to make a song as righteously named as “Keep it Wolf” rock as much as it’s legally required to, We Versus the Shark has a few secret weapons and even more loud, out in the open ones. (Everything this band does is loud, actually.) It’s just that dense, concertina-wrapped freak jams like theirs are somewhat of a limiting factor. Look at Fugazi. Those guys were awesome, but grew up to be really awesome at making moody, very adult anti-pop music. The point then, is simple. Get Dirty Versions now, while you’re still young enough to justify losing your mind to a band in a basement. — Johnny Loftus

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