The term “original hardcore” has become disposable nowadays. In a sea of hardcore clones, it would be easy to mix and match singers with bands and no one would really even notice. It would be like trading baseball cards. “I’ll trade you my singer from Hawthorne Heights for your Underoath singer.” “OK, deal!”
No one would have ever expected a real “original hardcore” band from Tucson, Arizona, but then, a lot of things wouldn’t be expected from Versus The Mirror. Their full-length debut Home comes to us via Equal Vision Records (EVR) after EVR only released an exclusive online and tour EP from this band. There are so many reasons why this band stands taller than all their peers and I’ll point them out so you can truly appreciate this album.
The fact that this band is in their early 20’s and the vocalist Davey Siebold is only 19 astounds me, especially since their music and recording sounds like seasoned veterans. For their debut album, Versus The Mirror recruited producer Bob Hoag (The Bled, The Format, Records) to help them record this powerful hardcore album. This is funny, because Versus The Mirror is the band The Bled wish they could be. Honestly, I am a huge fan of The Bled, but Versus The Mirror bleeds them dry.
Unlike most hardcore bands who rely on breakdowns, Versus The Mirror “two-step” the patented chugga-chugga-breakdown formula. Another thing that sets them apart from heavy hardcore wannabes is the fact that there is no distortion in the guitars, meaning you actually get to hear Gabe Borquez and Kevin Ryan’s playing instead of them being able to hide behind some false sound. And there are no false sounds on Home. The band recorded the entire album with Hoag without using a computer. No MAC, no Pro-Tools, no digital editing — what you hear is what you get!
Some of the younger fans who may not understand what this means, check it: imagine seeing your favorite band live and saying to yourself ‘Hey, that’s not what it sounds like on the CD.’ That’s because most bands use digital means to record their albums, to perfect and hone their sound through intense editing.
Home was tracked with vintage gear and was recorded from analog to 2” tape. Rocking out to Home in your home will be just like rocking out to Versus The Mirror live, minus the sweaty bodies, intensity of the band, and emotions that only a live performance can evoke. To hone their sound, Versus The Mirror practice six times a week. Versus The Mirror knew quite well that with this recording style, “perfection” was a subjective word. Making the best record you can possibly make is perfection. Hard work never goes unnoticed boys; I commend and respect you.