I was introduced to Victory And Associates through their friendship with The Poison Control Center, and I can see why the two bands get along. There are definitely some similarities in their sound, but they also differ greatly in attitude and philosophy.
These guys, hailing from the bay area, go for the throat at every turn. The vocals and guitars are very aggressive, which honestly was a problem for me at first. On my initial spin through These Things Are Facts, I found it a bit overwhelming. It’s a loud record, and I couldn’t make everything out with my ears ringing. Luckily I always listen to an album a few times before reviewing it. As it turns out, Victory And Associates have a lot to say.
Once I got into it a little bit, and let that inner-skate punk in my soul (maybe that’s where it is) come out and play, things started sounding different. For starters, does anyone else think that Conan Neutron’s voice sounds a little like Fred Schneider’s? No? Maybe that’s just me. Regardless, these guys have a lot more going on than a “Rock Lobster.” Beneath those crushing guitars lay some pretty good lyrics that take on issues above the normal heartbreak and angst. For instance, on the song “Can’t Eat Prestige,” Neutron sings:
Well the war is over, the fight was fixed
a campaign to make you poor, while they stay rich.
This isn’t the last chapter, i’m turning the pages back
we’ve been defending too long, let’s plot a counter attack
You just, live life like you’re under siege
you can’t pay bills with praise, you can’t eat prestige
I’ve been down so long, I stopped making up jokes
I’d need some investors to get up to broke
and it’s like: 1,2,3,4, they declared a class war
and all we declared was bankruptcy
I love the little snapshots of influences the band doles out randomly as well. Sometimes you’ll hear a little AC/DC, then Van Halen, and a bunch of other little things that last for about two or three seconds. And they make them all sound exactly as they should, like a band building on those that came before. The guys that make up Victory And Associates obviously have a good working knowledge of the music that shaped them, and it’s always nice to pay tribute.
Speaking of the band, man they’re good. I mentioned Conan, who sings and plays rhythm guitar, the band also has Shane Otis, who plays some blistering leads, Evan Gritzon playing bass in a tough genre, and Mouse Menough delivering percussion at 128 bpm. They’re a bit more punk than I usually get into, but I find myself enjoying this record more and more with every listen.
What I really want is for them to come out to Chicago and do a show so I can see them live, because I assume their set would be amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to indie rock shows that are mellow, but a show that can pump a ton of energy into a room can be life-altering (see: Titus Andronicus). So please, I’m begging you Victory And Associates, come out to Chicago!
Do yourself a favor and pick up These Things Are Facts when you get a chance. The official release party isn’t until September 16th, but you can listen to the whole thing and purchase it here. I would recommend “Can’t Eat Prestige,” “You Can’t Stop The Signal,” “Get Tough, Get Through It,” and “Home Is Where You Hang Your Hope” as the top songs to get you into the album.