Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jul 13th, 2016

Minor Victories: Minor Victories

minor victoriesMinor Victories
Minor Victories
(Fat Possum)

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As far as indie collectives go, Minor Victories has tapped talent from some of the UK’s most interesting groups. Justin Lockey of Editors connected first with Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, then Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai. Lockey’s own brother James, formerly of the band BEF, was then brought into the fold. And that’s not even touching on the guest appearances. Minor Victories is an album born from experimentation. Listening to the record, it’s impossible to tell that the band members recorded their parts separately, and had never been in a room together all at once. Pieced together through electronic communications, the album is obviously a triumph in noise and distortion juxtaposing Goswell’s delicate vocals. Opening track “Give up the Ghost” is an aggressive slice of post-punk delight that would sound at-home on ’90s rock radio. “A Hundred Ropes” begins with hypnotic keyboards, but beautiful strings, adamant bass, and fierce guitars kick in to flesh out the claustrophobic landscape as Goswell describes an “ocean of doubt.” “Folk Arp” is a delicate, cinematic track that sounds a bit like Mogwai’s work on the Les Revenants soundtrack. There are times when Goswell’s upper range gets lost within the music, or her words are nearly impossible to make out. Fortunately, a couple of guest appearances help beef up the lyrics. “Scattered Ashes (Song for Richard)” features James Graham of The Twilight Sad showing off the more delicate side of his voice to grand effect. On “For You Always,” Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek seems to ramble about his star-crossed fate with Goswell. It’s an unusual but engaging style that really works. While Minor Victories isn’t a perfect debut, it’s a strong effort from a group of massively talented musicians who put their songs first. Here’s to hoping it’s not their last foray as a band.

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Minor Victories: Minor Victories