A Small Victory – El Camino (CD)


Starting out as the most well-mixed and catchy CD that Lobster has released since “One For The Kids”, Georgia’s A Small Victory have improved their already solid sound for “El Camino”. The vocals of Reppard come out as bombastic as the sizzling guitar solos found on the first track, “Limousines and Cheap Cigars”. The inclusion of an odd time-signature and arrangement push the track from mediocrity to something forever ingrained ito a listeners’ head. Such is the case to the much more emotive and warm “Hell-Bent On Heaven’s Smile”. While the guitar on this track has a much more simplistic role, Reppard and John’s bass are the key agents whose intricacy pull the track up to the heights of emo-rock. Smartly ensuring that each track doesn’t crack the four-minute length, A Small Victory ensures that their audience will continually be interested. Finally reaching radio gold during “Blindman’s Holiday”, the saccharine-smooth vocals and brutally simne guitar lines come through in the clutch.

Even copping a little bit of the same structure from The Darkness’ guitar solo, the diverse and rich sound of “Blindman’s Holiday”, including the incredible chorus of : “Sweet Stereo, It’s Driving Me Crazy, But “Kinda Crazy” is the mood I’m in for now.” Attacking the problem of continuing their high level of performance during “El Camino” is one that most bands biff up completely, but not A Small Victory – the fresh and enjoyable “Otis” immediately follows “Blindman’s Holiday” and continues the tradition of strong and filling tracks. Drawing more influence from the arena-rock of an earlier time in American rock history, “Stabbing Tree” is the crux of the disc, the time in which all five members of the band are given the chance to properly exhibit their virtuosity – we have guitar solos, a prevalent bass, and hard-hitting drums all in the space of 3:45.

Even in their down-tempos of songs, A Small Victory cultivates this same nugget of incredibly compelling sound, drawing one’s interest from what they are doing to focus in completely on the disc. It was evident that A Small Victory was going to be a band to watch for after the release of “The Pieces We Keep”, but the band as broken any conceptions that I personally had. This album is easily on par with Brand New’s “Deja Entendu” and My Chemical Romance’s “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” as the most impressive emo-rock albums of the last half-decade.

Top Tracks: Amy Never Misses, Blindman’s Holiday

Rating: 8.3/10

A Small Victory – El Camino / 2004 Lobster Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.asmallvictory.com / http://www.lobsterrecords.com / Reviewed 19 November 2004

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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