If you like pop and R&B music as much as you love your gritty hardcore, then R&Bcore is the perfect blend of their most adored attributes. The genre hasn’t burst into the mainstream, other than with pioneers Issues, but New York’s VRSTY are another act who slot right in there with them.
It sounds like boy bands with breakdowns, but that’s absolutely fine; that’s precisely what R&Bcore is and what VRSTY are. They’re back with their second EP, ‘BLCK’, a long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s ‘Lights’, where since the band have just been dropping the odd single here and there until they had a full body of work ready to go.
‘Unity’ and ‘I, Lucy (Lucifer)’ are both two previously released singles, the former coming on the EP with a slightly different mix than it held with its initial debut over a year ago. It’s the epitome of what VRSTY are all about; a flurry of crunching riffs, towering vocals, and dominating drums. Frontman Joey Varela chimes in with “I’ve got a feeling that somehow I’m going to let you down” before a hefty breakdown enters the frame, and if you don’t bang your head at this point then there might be something wrong with you.
Newer cut ‘NOLA’ continues that trend, sounding like what you could expect if you mashed The Weeknd and blessthefall together, fusing sweet chorus melodies and Varela‘s slick vocals aside some buzzsaw guitar work from Paul Gregory, Jesse Cole, and Danny Ravenhall.
‘Colorblind’ is another highlight, acting as the EP’s opener and setting the scene, whereas ‘Impressionable Me’ takes us to the release’s end and has us begging for something more.
After several set backs and pot holes on the road to its release, ‘BLCK’ holds up the weight of anticipation, and with it VRSTY continue to prove that both they and R&Bcore are criminally overlooked.