Album review: VRSTY – Welcome Home

New York post-hardcore crew VRSTY bring the grooves and grit on debut full-length, Welcome Home.

Album review: VRSTY – Welcome Home
Aliya Chaudhry

After a series of EPs, New York's VRSTY are finally dropping their debut full-length, Welcome Home. It’s a polished collection of songs that match pop sensibilities with a heavier backbone. There are endless grooves and danceable parts, punctuated by breakdowns and completed with dark atmosphere. Joey Varela’s smooth vocal performance drives each song, with songs like Soul giving him a chance to show off his falsettos.

Finesse’s jolt of energy kicks things off with some help from Notions, establishing the band’s hooky-but-heavy sound. Hush dials up the instrumentation from minimal start to full-throttle chorus while Closer builds drama through its heavy-hitting guitars and a melody that shifts gear a couple times all while being incredibly captivating. That sense of drama also comes through on Love Sick – the track’s ominous synths and thrilling hooks make it likely to get stuck in your head. But it’s some of the lighter moments that stand out the most, like the title-track, combining acoustic picking with a surprising beat in its first verse.

While it’s clear the band know how to put together a dynamic song, the tracks tend to follow a lot of the same structures, and they begin to feel repetitive, making piano ballad 11am a welcome addition. Things drag a little towards the middle and end (Never Again, Gravity), and with 14 tracks, there is space to cut it down, especially since some of the chorus melodies sound a little cliché and the lyrics too simplistic. But Welcome Home has flair and it is unashamedly fun, and there’s something to be said for that.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Too Close to Touch, I Prevail, Palisades

Welcome Home is released on January 21 via Spinefarm.

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