New York City rockers VRSTY are on a mission to prove wrong the theory that everything has done before. The band offer up an unusual fusion of R&B and even pop-inspired vocals with heavier metal growls alongside huge guitar riffs, metallic grooves and elements of post-hardcore.
VRSTY began as a solo project of frontman Joey Varela, who explains the band’s formation as: “It was originally just me writing music and putting it out. Eventually I wanted to play those songs live, so I got some friends to play the instruments and here we are.”
He’s since been joined by Paul Gregory (guitar), Javy Dorrejo (bass) and Chris Cody (drums) to craft a fascinating hybrid of sounds. The band first started out back in 2015 with debut album Lights, then released Blck Deluxe in 2019, before releasing latest EP Cloud City in December.
On the EP, Joey tells us: “Cloud City is way more organised than BLCK Deluxe was. I feel like I took more time on these songs than I did on our previous EP. I think people can expect more personal songs and definitely better written ones!”
The EP opens up with Massive which is, well, pretty massive. Light guitars open up and explode into a huge wall of metal guitars and distant synths. That drops into a verse that gradually builds in intensity towards a huge singalong chorus “You tried to break me, But I’m here and you can’t handle it, You’ll never take this from me, I’m gonna do what I do, know I will never lose, You tried to break me, But I’m here just like I planned for it, You’ll never take this from me, If you watch me real close you can do it like me.”
A funky little verse feeds into another heavy chorus, which drops into a heavy bassline and vocals, then big low-tuned guitars. Heavy vocals jump in and feed into a big final rendition of the chorus. Check it out in the video below:
While Shameless sees more of the R&B and metal fusion, starting out with a big cry of “Go on and bury me” then diving into a huge wall of heavy guitars. That drops into laid-back vocals, then higher-pitched vocals that end on a big cry of “bury me” and more heavy guitars that feed into a catchy chorus. Check it out in the video:
And there’s more of the same on tracks like the delicious Pathos, which opens up with R&B vocals then booming guitars kick in as it grows into a powerful chorus “It feels like I’m dreaming, Falling through the ceiling, I can feel it now, I can see the ground, It feels like I’m dreaming, I am barely breathing, I’m so close to the ground, It’s pulling me under, me under.” Laid-back vocals return in the verse, which quickly feeds into another chorus, before big guitar blasts that feed into engaging high-pitched vocals. Give it a listen below:
Interestingly, VRSTY’s music has been inspired by vocalists like Michael Jackson, Prince and Usher, alongside a wide range of musical influences.
And on what inspires them to write music, Joey explains: “I honestly just love playing guitar and singing, I don’t think there’s anything I love more than those two things. As for topics, I usually write about things that I have directly gone through or have helped friends through.
There’s plenty more to come from VRSTY this year. As Joey tells us: “We have tons of new music, new videos and some live streams that we wanna put out, but I guess we’ll see what happens. We’re definitely not rockstars or even cool and we appreciate any love we get from you!”