31 August, 2013

Recent Love (Solid Bros Against Karl Rove Edition)

Victory and Associates, Better Luck Next Life
First of all, I like how when I shorten this band's name - V&A - it sounds like something off the itinerary for a porno shoot.
OK, so long as we're having honesty time here, I pop this CD into my computer, which opens up iTunes and, much to my horror, seven out of ten of the songs are over four minutes. I don't have that kind of time. I'm a busy man. I can't be spending a hour just listening to music.
But I'll give it a try.
For those of you unfamiliar with Victory and Associates, this is the band that apparently never got the memo that anthemic arena rock was uncool. However, instead of sounding like some novelty 80s throwback or th'fuck ever, V&A (teehee) just write big sounding power pop songs with simple, elegant hooks. Think Replacements and Cheap Trick, not KISS or Journey.
There's also a smattering of social commentary, addressing issues like perceived apathy of youth, hope without action, class privilege, celebrity without merit, etc. If you're even a little on the right wing side, this record is not for you. No, "for serious", this record was not made for you. (I don't know what conservatives listen to, maybe Bieber? Go listen to Bieber. I heard he's turned into a dick, so whether he's a triple threat - singer, dancer, and one fuck of a drummer - or not, he's still a dick. With some ugly tattoos. No, you know what? I'll go with the typo. I almost typed "twattoos". Biebs has twattoos.
Wait. Am I still in the parentheses?)
And then there are a couple of pop culture references, say like the fourth song, "Everything's Amazing (Nobody's Happy)", and the eighth song, ""Are We Having Fun Yet?"".
Now, big arena rock just usually isn't my bag - I think I might have a Cheap Trick best of, I think - so this record, for me, is a grower, not a shower, even on the big speakers. But when I saw V&A (teehee) at the Hexagon, I had a fucking blast. And mind you, that was on a stage only yay big...

It's not even big enough for the whole band.
That's kind of what happened with me and ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Loved them live. Couldn't listen to their records. Thankfully, Better Luck Next Life is listenable compared to the overwhelming majority of AYWKUBTTOD's recorded output. So if you're into left-leaning anthems that tell whiners and righties to shut the fuck up, this is your record. When was the last time you pumped your fist in the air unironically, anyway? Get on this, young'un.
 
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