Verst’s Starship Crash is a remarkably assured debut. The music consistently surprises, offering angular and muscular instrumentation that wrestles inventive, unexpected arrangements to the ground with grace and finesse. The songs are earworms of the best kind, featuring sinewy, sugar-spiked vocal melodies that wouldn’t be out of place on ‘70s AM radio.
In a word, Starship Crash might best be called “rocklectic.” From the rollicking crunch of “Secrets of Me” to the hypnotic trance-like space rock of the title track, Starship Crash is a journey through genres that rewards listeners at every turn.
Pandora calls Starship Crash “…a noise-pop masterwork that infuses ‘90s sonic wizardry with innovative melodies, both barbed and sublime…There’s not one mediocre song here.”
Verst is a four-piece band from San Francisco, California. Bass player John Parsons first discovered guitarist John Dickey’s music in the mid-90s through a random purchase of the Pie is Gone EP in a Greenwich Village record store. Dickey was the mastermind behind Pie, a Boston-based band that opened for Built to Spill and Yo La Tengo before imploding after a string of indie releases. Parsons led San Francisco rockers, Rule of Thumb, through four albums (and opening slots for The Gourds and Richmond Fontaine, among others) before dissolving the band.
In 2002, Parsons was determined to find more Pie music. An internet search revealed that Dickey had relocated to San Francisco and formed a new band, Richard Bitch. That move would prove to be fortuitous, though it would take another decade before the two Johns joined forces in Verst. With Starship Crash, Verst is poised to reap the benefits of the members’ collective years of sweat equity. Brandon Hemley (also from Rule of Thumb) propels the music on drums, and Mark Marvelous rounds out the band on keyboards and guitar. All four members sing in various combinations of shared lead and background vocals.
john dickey / guitar
john parsons / bass
brandon hemley / drums
mark marvelous / keys & guitar