EXCLUSIVE Review: Varsity – Sentinel (Ft. Michael Crimlis) (Single)


Artist: Varsity
Album: Lights
Rating: 5/5

There are a few vocalists who truly impress me, furthering that each release. One of those, though, is Joey Varela. Coming straight to your ears out of Orlando, FL, you might have read my review on his band, Mirror:Mirror‘s debut EP “Black & White” where he sings clean vocals. However, he’s created a solo project that is above and beyond what you’ve heard from him on that EP. I had the honor of being one of the first to jam this project’s first single and I can tell you… the world will be screaming his name from the moment this track kicks in. The project, Varsity, is a post-hardcore one-man band with a story to tell. Varela’s R&B-like clean vocals mix with his devastating screams for a molotov cocktail ready to prove to the world that those who would doubt him were always wrong.

His debut single, “Sentinel”, features Michael Crimlis (ex-Us, From Outside). This 3 and a half minute aural masterpiece is power-packed with everything you could want and more. This track, lyrically, is about discovering the truth about fake friends. You can only go through life for so long faking a friendship before that friend discovers your true colors. “Talking and talking, you love the sound of my name on your tongue. Keep talking but you’ll never find another one. You can say what you wanna believe but the truth is: You ain’t shit without me!” This is Varela’s way of telling those people that they’ve made an enemy of him and that he will never stop reaching for his dreams. “They say I’m only a dreamer, I am everything you’ll say I’m not. You trap me with your words, but I’m content with what I’ve got.” He goes on to say how he’s “feeling more less like whiskey and more like wine, aged to perfection, I go down smooth but I’m keepin’ you up at night”. He knows that their lies, their deception, every dishonest thing that they have done to him will eat them alive… and he’s loving every minute of it. For the saying is true: What comes around, goes around. Crimlis comes in and says “It’s all over now, I stand here wondering how it feels to be broken, it feels to be broken… How it feels to be all alone.” This is the ultimate revenge. He’s laughing as he achieves his dreams while his new-found enemies stand in awe… feeling that empty feeling that comes only with being truly alone.

Probably the most impressive thing about this track is how cohesive it is. Joey did all of the vocals and instrumentals (san-Crimlis, of course) and it sounds incredible! This proves that not only is he talented vocally/lyrically, he’s multi-talented! I’d love to hear more of Varela and Crimlis on a project of their own, too. They make an incredible vocal pair! If you don’t check out Varsity’s debut EP Lights, engineered by Varela and mixed/mastered by Kyle Ritch, when it’s released later this year… you’re really missing out! The debut single, “Sentinel (ft. Michael Crimlis)” is coming to your ears very soon, be on the lookout! It will leave you begging for more! For now, check out a teaser of 3 songs from the EP, including “Sentinel” below!