I’m not typically a fan of EP’s. A handful of songs just isn’t enough for me to fall head over heels for a band and I hate only having a couple of songs to listen to over and over again– this outlook changed the minute that I got Version 5’s self-titled EP. Yes, I know I’m a bit late one this one as it was released back in 2015 but the fact that I’m just now hearing about this duo has me a bit mad at myself for not “discovering” them sooner. Although only three songs long, I instantly knew that I would be able to listen to those three songs over and over again without getting bored. Even now, after over a dozen listens, I’m still able to pick up on little elements throughout the songs that I missed out on with the first listen.
Hailing from Minneapolis, Version 5 (often stylized as [V5] is a duo of brothers Andy and Spencer. Honestly, I didn’t believe that when I started doing my research and started listening to this release. There’s so much sound and so many layers that it’s downright confusing to try and figure out how two men made all of this sound come together as a cohesive album. It just feels like there were so many minds involved in blended all of the layers together and the fact that it was done by just two men truly says everything you need to know about their genius.
Then opening track on this release, “Why Don’t You Drop”, happens to be the single that they did a music video for. The music alone has a sense of intensity and energy that I wish every opening track had. It instantly catapults you into a world of industrial pop music that, although familiar with clear influences of well-known acts from around multiple genres, still has a very unique sound to it. There’s a sense of chaos behind this single but it never gets out of control. Both Andy and Spencer seem to control their energy while still staying extremely upbeat and energetic. I can’t stress to you enough how fine of a line this is to walk so hearing these two walk the tightrope with ease was truly music to my ears.
The music video for “Why Don’t You Drop” matches the chaos yet restraint of the music perfectly. There are moments with intense strobe lights followed by moments of pure beauty as the camera follows a beautiful woman dressed in a gorgeous red gown down an empty hallway. There’s a sinister vibe about the video that, again, matches the almost bipolar vibe that the music gives off at times. Beyond matching the music perfectly, the music video is so well done and professionally edited that it was hard for me to remember that these guys are just a couple of local boys done good. Watching a local group like this have a video that truly catapults them onto another level is one of my favorite things and every time I watched their “Why Don’t You Drop” music video, I find myself with all of the warm fuzzies.
Second on the EP is “Bury You”. This song brings a new sense of fury to the three-song release. There’s a driving force behind this track that adds a new level of excitement to this album. With their signature industrial, pop sound, Version 5 seems to add an element of a bit of the metal scene with some of the in your face vocals during the chorus. Like the other two songs on this release, Version 5 does a great job of keeping the listener on their toes. You may think you know what is coming next or when a chorus or verse is going to pop off but Version 5 seems to take everything you would expect and throw it out of the window. Where I would have assumed to hear another verse, “Bury You” takes the song a completely different direction with a brief yet powerful pause in the music before jumping back into the infectious beat of this song.
“Take You There” is the final track on this self-titled release. Although it stays along the same lines as the other two songs, this song has an almost radio-friendly vibe about it. There are some truly beautiful vocals that instantly turn into the in your face sound that, after the two previous songs, you’ve become used to. Although I don’t think this is mainstream (as that’s not the point at all), I could definitely see “Take You There” become an almost dance club hit. It has moments where you want to jump and scream and other moments when you want to sway to the beat and a chorus that I could easily see a bit of a push pit kicking off to. That versatility makes, not only this release, but also this band, a true force to be reckoned with.
Version 5 is not a band that I would typically listen to. Sure, there are days when you can find me jamming to a little industrial music by way of Mindless Self Indulgence and I’m a huge fan of industrial music shows but it’s not completely my scene. Version 5 is the perfect band for you if you’re like me and unsure about where to start with this fairly underground scene. Their blend of industrial, pop, punk, metal, and various other genres of music makes it easy to listen to and impossible to not fall in love with.
My Favorite Track(s): “Take You There”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 6 out of 10
At Home Moshability: 4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It- Artemis laid on the floor of the kitchen waiting for his dinner. Autumn was under my bed because of the rain
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4 out of 5