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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Victory At Sea
Memories Fade
Gern Blandsten Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004

Ohh… It emits; it emits with yearning, with longing, with pain… Give it to me! Yes! Yes! Keep it coming!

No this album doesn't elicit that deep of a reaction, but it is damn good nevertheless. From somber choruses, to sing-alongs to lullaby-like love songs, Memories Fade flirts with different song devices and styles, piquing interest and warranting attention.

Vocalist and guitarist Mona Elliott has plenty of versatility in her voice, which nicely sounds more "womanly," in contrast to the popularity of overtly girlish vocals used in this type of indie rock at this time. There is an authentic wrench in her voice, specifically on "Love Is Ageless," where it actually cracks at one point. Her husky, panged delivery matches the emotionally heavy, melancholic use of violin and piano. This is a strong start to the album, but initially leaves one wondering if the following songs would remain in tow with such seriousness.

Luckily, the album does not follow script entirely. It mixes the simple with the complex, and the lovelorn with the contented. In contrast to the first track, the second song, "Games," is much more playful in its instrumentation, and the vocals completely shift to an upbeat direction, higher pitched and extroverted. Again, on "Logan Way," the tone turns itself inside out, with androgynous vocals and moody rhythms.

Their lyrics are brimming with nostalgia and an earnestness that isn't overplayed, just simply stated within the acoustic-dominated "Animals and the Weather," the disjointed balladry of "Something Grand," and most especially in the closer which fizzles in a group sing and slow fade out.

Victory At Sea successfully blends styles, and has enough differentiation in their songwriting and vocal style to keep the album from becoming another humdrum indie rock release. They have a wonderful mix of tempos - from melancholic love songs to upbeat pop tracks - all done well. They don't flood the album in somber violin or piano warbling; instead, knowing where to create tension and where to leave things alone, they loosen up both instruments in the right places fixing their tones to the song's devices.

Bittersweet and engaging at the same time - a capable, dynamic and otherwise very good record.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio



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