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Versatile Rock – ‘Live at Studio 29’

by Thomas Bedward December 28, 2020

Versatile Rock – ‘Live at Studio 29’

A Canadian rock band on a mission to give more music to the world, Versatile Rock have always lived up to their name, pushing the genre in wild new directions and through age-old barriers. After turning the screws and sharpening their sound on the independent scene, the band took to the studio in 2020 to record their debut release, the rough and ready ‘Live at Studio 29’.

An explosive new release built upon seven fierce and wonderfully diverse cuts, ‘Live at Studio 29’ first takes hold with ‘Live to Die’, a bristling new cut that shines with timeless Americana feel. Built on passionate vocals that flicker between sweetly sung harmonies and gritty, defiant growls, it’s a song backed by a deft balance of sharp, classic rock and rolling, modern anthemics, and it delivers in droves. In second cut, ‘Top of the Morning’, Versatile Rock delve into vintage grunge territory, charging themselves with a linger bassline, fierce percussion, and some neat instrumental passages.

In ‘Country Boys Do’, Versatile Rock create a natural successor to ‘Top of the Morning’, holding firm to their formula with a more pronounced country sound. It’s a rugged, smouldering single that shows the versatility of the band, cutting through the mainstream style and offering something more personal. As the final notes of ‘Country Boys Do’ fade, the band deliver their ace in the hole, the dark, braze rock ‘n’ roll anthem of ‘Deceitful’.

A thunderous release that ups the ante in true and fearsome form, ‘Deceitful’ is raw, explosive, and totally irrepressible, revelling in post-rock dramatics and twisted metal sounds that make it a true highlight of the album. As the album heads into its final three tracks, the band set an unsteady pattern of sentimental acoustics that alternative with stark rock ‘n’ roll anthemics, spacing the wistful melody of ‘Hallelujah Amen’ and heartfelt acoustic ode of ‘Mom’ with the brash, brilliant sounds of ‘Dusted’. It’s a complicated and divisive end to the bands time at Studio 29, but one that shows their abilities without fuss or any needless frills.

In the tag line for their website, Versatile Rock say that they take pride in their music, and if you ever needed proof of that, one spin of ‘Live at Studio 29’ would tell you all you needed to know. An album that carries both its strengths and its weaknesses with it, ‘Live at Studio 29’ is a fitting and impressively honest introduction to the band, one that sets the scene for a very promising career.

You can stream the new album in full on Spotify and be sure to keep your eye out for the band’s next single, ‘Vulnerable State’ when it drops in January.

Score: 7/10

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