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Versus The World Picks Up The Pieces: “Goin’ Out For Smokes”

Santa Barbara-based post-punk band, Versus The World, work on picking up the pieces with their latest single “Goin’ Out For Smokes.”

5 bandmates are gathered and smiling towards the camera while standing in front of a drum kit against a black backdrop.
Versus The World - Photo courtesy of the artist

The single is accompanied by a one-shot music video of singer Donald Spence waking up and stumbling across the shoreline of a beach as he picks up scattered pieces of his lost clothing that has washed up. With a classic anthemic feel of Warped Tour era pop-punk, the band shows grit and determination as they simultaneously hype up their latest album, The Bastards Live Forever, from SBÄM Records.

About the song’s meaning, Spence bluntly says that it is “about weakness. Looking back on a moment you’re not proud of and admitting that you didn’t have what it took to pull it. It’s about a time in my life where I had to put myself back together and see where I failed and went wrong. There’s no resolve in the song, which I kind of like… no ‘the hero wins in the end.’ Just ‘I fucked this up… what do I do now?”

Watching the music video makes this lack of narrative resolution especially clear. As Spence literally picks up his scattered pieces, he finally stops to have a smoke and look out at the ocean that, we can assume, swallowed him up and spit him back out. A tight metaphor for the chaotic elements of life and nature that are easy to get swept up in, but not as easy to recover from.

“Goin’ Out For Smokes” is available now on major streaming platforms and the accompanying music video is available on YouTube. The track can be found on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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