CD Review by Jerel Johnson
California quartet, Victory and Associates, formed from the ashes of frontman Conan Neutron’s former band Mount Vicious. Victory and Associates continues the classic rock revival of Mount Vicious with its sophomore record Better Luck Next Life on Oct. 29. This is not an AOR tribute record or a poor man’s rendition of Journey or Styx. Instead, the band takes parts of Sabbath, punk rock and sixties surf rock and puts it in a blender. On “Ignore Button” the fuzzy speed riffing recalls pre-Rollins Black Flag with a stoner edge reminiscent of Fu-Manchu.
The Stooges influence creeps its way in “Everything’s Amazing (Nobody’s Happy)”. The slow proto-grunge groove and soulful leads add to the song’s subtle ferocity. The upbeat lyrics “Exasperated Inc.” contrast with downbeat riffs. Neuron’s chorus of “And this world will drag you down if you let it … so don’t let it!” makes one want to get out and grab the world by the horns. The dangerous sound of “The End of Memory” is a frantic disjointed punk tune with a nice breakdown chorus. The spacey closer “Taste the Danger” is a call for American youth to rise up and revolt.
The song’s urgent message to end apathy is understandable in today’s political climate. It is also a breath of fresh air from the vapid messages heard on mainstream radio. Victory and Associates do not have to wait for better luck on its next release. It has struck gold on this album. Rock fans should give this record a spin as there is enough variety to satisfy everyone.