Victory and Associates, track by track
This week, Jeff heads out to Los Angeles to talk up Victory And Associates shiny new elpee These Things Are Facts with two of his favorite little characters, Spike and Blondie.
Blondie: Nah. Her car is a dumpster with an engine in it.
Spike: We’d get about as far as Pasadena with that thing. Maybe.
Jeff: Well… good. I was worried about you doods getting arrested. You know what the deal here is, right?
Blondie: We’re gonna talk about These Things Are Facts by Victory And Associates.
Spike: And then yer gonna buy us beer.
Jeff: Yes. We’re gonna go over the elpee track by track but no, I’m not gonna buy you beer. So, this thing opens up with a freaking ANTHEM called “Get Tough, Get Through It.” What’d you guys think?
Spike: Rocks. Rad.
Blondie: It’s fast, dood. I jump around a lot to that one. I’m really glad I sell all my Ritalin instead of taking it cuz like, I probably wouldn’t feel this one, y’know? It rocks.
Jeff: It really sets the tone for the entire elpee. Victory And Associates is such an appropriate name for this band… the common theme through the majority of these tracks is all about overcoming obstacles, and yeah, this one is quick and razor sharp. It’s a great opening track. So the next one is “You Can’t Eat Prestige.” What’d you think?
Blondie: Baller. And the guitars are total baller.
Spike: I thought the singer was saying “You can’t eat crisp cheese.” That’s not what it is?
Blondie: Dood. No. Like, the whole point of the song title is, you gotta get paid at some point. It’s cool that people like stuff that you do and they talk about stuff that you do, but like, you can’t live off of that.
Jeff: And the song itself is again talking about battling the odds, but this time from a particularly working class point of view.
Spike: I wish it was “crisp cheese.” I’m still gonna sing it that way.
Blondie: “Brothers Doing It For Themselves” is another one where, that thing you were saying about getting tough and getting through stuff…
Jeff: Yeah. This one is kind of a DIY fight song, and the whole DIY ethic requires a lot of getting tough and getting through stuff. You guys ever heard Public Enemy? This title reminds me of “Brothers Gonna Work It Out”.
Spike: Don’t know ‘em.
Blondie: Are they old?
Jeff: Public Enemy? Yeah, but their stuff holds up really well. I’ll play some for you sometime. Next up, “Doubtbreak.”
Spike: Yeah. Another fast one with some rad guitars!
Blondie: Another one I like to jump around to!
Jeff: Ok, the guitar interplay is what I like best here. Another band you guys maybe haven’t heard of: The Libertines. “Doubtbreak” opens up just like I remember some harder, faster Libertines tunes. We’ll dig out some Libertines too so you can hear what I’m talking about. Alright, so “You Can’t Stop The Signal” is next…
Spike: Total rock. With pirates, right? Spazzy loud guitar and drum bashing pirates.
Jeff: Definitely something happening on a ship. And that Victory theme comes up again:
“There are other stories, but this one’s ours/We shall not falter we will not cower…”
Blondie: You really like that, huh?
Jeff: The positivity these guys generate? Oh, hell yes. Especially with all the self-pitying crybaby rock bands that are out there.
Spike: Dood. Emo bands. All I can hear is their eyeliner, weeping awa.
Jeff: Later, you doods need to explain emo to me, cuz I don’t know what it is.
Blondie: Spike can probably tell it better.
Jeff: Ok, cool. Now, “Funundrum.” Heh heh. Thoughts?
Spike: HELLA FUCKING BALLER.
Blondie: Spike, like, c’mon. Calm down.
Jeff: He’s right though.
Blondie: It’s ok if we say stuff like that?
Jeff: In this particular case and this particular song, I’d say it’s a dead-on comment.
Blondie: HELLA FUCKING BALLER!
Jeff: Yeah, it’s like listening to an explosion. Best track on the elpee, I’d say, and man, it’s got East Bay written all over it. The Fleshies, Dead Kennedys… its right about here where Victory’s singer Conan Neutron made me think of Jello Biafra.
Spike: Jello Biafra, that’s a cool name.
Blondie: So is Conan Neutron. I’m picturing a dood the size of a Gundam wearing, like, a labcoat with a test tube in his clenched fist.
Jeff: Next up is “Not Returning,” which takes some weird turns. It starts out sounding like… geez, I dunno, like Lene Lovich new wave but ends up in a guitar power overdrive.
Spike: I like that he got out of his town in the song. Like, I can totally relate. I like Los Angeles, but dood…
Blondie: Our neighborhood blows balls.
Spike: Big, hairy balls.
Blondie: “I left my hometown because of cultural toxicity/I needed more than liquor stores and cable tv…”
Spike: I feel that. Throw in a few crackheads outside the liquor store and I totally feel that.
Jeff: Again, this is what I love most about this record — the consistent messaging about overcoming the shit. And you guys, I have to think that these songs were written with guys like you in mind, you know? This song, and a lot of these songs are saying “You don’t have to put up with the bullshit and you can do something about it.”And guys, it’s true, you don’t have to feel like victims. Get tough, get through it, and get out if you need to. Someday you will.
Jeff: “Noises, Voices, You” says the same thing.
Blondie: With some more rad guitar, dood.
Spike: They need to get that shit on Guitar Hero. Seriously. That crazy squealing solo in the middle? Whoa.
Jeff: Ok…“Mistake Museum”?
Spike: Rad name for a song.
Jeff: You know what I like most about this one? The way they salute Police Teeth toward the end with that “little bit higher” chorus.
Spike: Police what?
Jeff: Police Teeth. Let’s make them the first thing we listen to later on. Yer both gonna love ‘em.
Blondie: Truth though… I’ve been skipping over ”Mistake Museum” to get to “Turn Down The Guitars (’11).”
Spike: Yeah, they don’t turn ‘em down at all in that one.
Jeff: And the closer: “Home Is Where You Hang Your Hope.”
Spike: They got tough.
Blondie: They got through it.
Spike: It’s not like the, ummm… rock-est thing on the record.
Jeff: Yeah, I’d say it’s the closest thing to a pop song.
Spike: But I see what yer saying about what, like, what all of the songs seem to be about… getting through stuff.
Blondie: And hope.
Spike: Yeah, hope. Like my Mom hopes all the time she spends on video poker down at the AM/PM will pay off someday.
Blondie: Not THAT kinda hope! Hope in yerself, not in, you know, luck or whatever.
Spike: I know, dood. I think she needs to listen to these songs.
Jeff: Play ‘em for her some time.
Spike: She’s too old. She won’t like it.
Jeff: Think positive, little dood. It catches on. Besides, she can’t be older than me, cuz I’m OLD! Are we recommending this fine new elpee from San Francisco’s Victory And Associates?
Blondie: HELLA YES.
Spike: Yer really not gonna buy us beer, huh?