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Versailles

Folly 12" EP

Gin & Catatonic

What do you get when you cross the lo-fi intensity of Unwound with the edge-of-your-seat shiftiness of Polvo? You get Versailles, of course. But to limit this band to a simple comparison would be to do them a great injustice.

   This is one of the best new indie records I've heard in a while, and certainly one of the nicest surprises to show up on my doorstep. (I'm kicking myself for not listening to it and reviewing it sooner.) Versailles' songs are mature, catchy, and well-crafted. They are just as comfortable with a quiet, straightforward passage as they are with a noisefest at the time-signature buffet, and they cover all points in between with equal aplomb.

   "Reno" and "Folly," my two favorites, rank right up there with the most ambitious rock songs. I even like Versailles' keyboards, and I'm not much for keyboards in a rock context. There's also a sense of concept, something rare, especially for an EP. One song often flows right into the next, side two begins as side one ends, and the same keyboard effects bookend the record.

   I'm looking forward to their new full-length, The Great Axis , which should be out by the time you read this. When something purposeful and creative comes along in the indie rock world, it's truly a breath of fresh air.

Gin & Catatonic, 303 NW 16th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

--TJ Stankus