Victims of Circumstance â€“ Do It Yourself / 2007 Financial / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/victimsofcircumstance /
Victims of Circumstance play a blend of ska/punk that has not really been heard much since the late years of the nineties. This means that the act blends together equal parts The Vandals and Less Than Jake. Despite the fact that the band plays a style of music that is not that common anymore, they are able to imbue each of the tracks on â€œDo It Yourselfâ€ with energy and momentum that will keep people listening now interested.
A track like â€œThe Distanceâ€ is able to approach a number of musical styles while still keeping the bandâ€™s unique sound in clear view. This means that there is a heavy horn influence to the track (think the Voodoo Glow Skulls and The Pietasters) but also a surf meets goth type of tinge at the periphery of the track (early Cure, The Cramps). The inclusion of a synth melds all constituent pieces of the track together and adds another (The Network) influence to the mix. The discâ€™s stand out track comes in â€œMe and Alex P. Keatonâ€. The slower, more laid-back approach to the track shows that Victims of Circumstance can get down at points with reggae records, but the slightly nasal approach of the vocals screams Fat Mike / â€œWar On Error-ismâ€-era noFX to me. The humor present in the track is very dry and oblique at points, obscured just enough to allow the track to be played easily on rock rotation. While this is Victims of Circumstanceâ€™s debut album, the ability of the act to put together tracks in a way that will bring new fans in by the barrelful is at a level that few established acts can achieve.
Most bands are not able to put together 13 tracks without having three or four â€œchaffâ€ songs; Victims of Circumstance are able to lay down cut after cut that builds up the disc and continues the band hurtling towards the end. Another impressive track during â€œDo It Yourselfâ€ is â€œMy Fateâ€. During this track, the band drops much of the ska influence to make a stripped-out, classic brand of punk rock track. The nearest approximation would be songs from the last Social Distortion album, but Victims of Circumstance are able to layer the guitar in a way that is memorable long after the disc stops. The band has a long career ahead of them; this is one of the strongest punk debuts that Iâ€™ve heard in the last few years.
Top Tracks: My Fate, Just Fine