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San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pandora Pick of the Week"


Behold San Francisco’s best-kept indie rock secret.

You probably won’t see Verst gracing the stages of those popular SF tastemaker festivals, but you should. Starship Crash is a noise-pop masterwork that infuses ‘90s sonic wizardry with innovative melodies, both barbed and sublime. Guitar effects whisperer John Dickey croons like Stephen Malkmus channeling Neil Young. There’s not one mediocre song here. - Pandora Blog

"Press Play: 'Starship Crash,’ Verst’s propulsive debut"

Verst, an explosive new indie rock quartet, blasts onto the Marin music scene with its debut album, “Starship Crash,” a sweet and sour clash of jangly electric guitars and angelic vocals.

Verst is built around the considerable talents of singer-songwriter guitarist John Dickey, best known for his exploits in the ’90s with Pie, an East Coast band that achieved some indie success, sharing stages with Yo La Tengo and Built to Spill. Known for its fiery shows and what has been described as “wild personal behavior,” Pie disbanded in 1996.

One of Pie’s biggest fans was Bay Area bassist John Parsons, who fronted the band Rule of Thumb and produced Matt Jaffe’s first studio record.

When Parsons learned that Dickey is now living in Terra Linda, he approached him with the idea of forming a new band. He recruited keyboardist Mark Marvelous and Rule of Thumb drummer Brandon Hemley, and Verst was on the launch pad.

“My dream is to expose this unheralded genius,” Parsons says. “People have gotta hear this guy’s stuff. It’s brilliant.”

Whether music fans find the 10 original songs on “Starship Crash” brilliant or not, there’s no argument that Verst’s intriguing space rock is strikingly different from the standard neo hippie stuff that seem to dominate the local jam band milieu.

On songs like the melodic title track, Dickey and Parsons sing sweet, high harmonies above sometimes discordant, Sonic Youth-like guitars that cut the confectionery vocals. Think Led Zeppelin crossed with the ’70s soft rock band Bread. In fact, Verst does a cover of Bread’s hit “I Want to Make it With You” in its live shows.

“Starship Crash” was recorded in Novato, Terra Linda and San Francisco. Parsons says it’s the first of what promises to be a series of albums from a new band with a prolific songwriter in John Dickey. Bring it on. - Marin Independent Journal

"Alternative Rising Act: Verst"

Unlike many other genres and music communities, the indie/alt culture appreciates new and rising artists that create diversity and new insights within the genre.

We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview, the San Francisco based and Pandora-approved group Verst.

We recently talked in-depth with the Verst guys, John Dickey, John Parsons, Brandon Hemley and Mark Marvelous. Read on to find out more about the group's influences, creative process, and of course their take on alternative culture.

Pretty much all critics who have covered Verst agree: they have created an incredible collection of songs in their debut album Starship Crash, where not even one track skips a beat. With captivating and winding melodies guiding experimental rock instrumentals, the album is fresh yet experienced. It's a contemporary feat grounded in sonic nostalgia of the 70s. It's very indicative of the era in its amalgamation of the zeitgeist sound, but updated as if Bread was baked longer and shared the stage with Julian Casablancas, Kings of Leon, and Temples.

From start to finish, it's intelligently crafted with visceral texture perfectly represented in the album artwork. Psychedelic yet lucid, the album and sound aesthetic is so refined and well structured, an impeccable innovative listen for any occasion--a classic depiction of the 2015 indie rock essence. - Indiebeat




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.

Band Members