Victorian Halls

Victorian Halls EP

Written by: TL on 16/02/2009 11:10:53

Ladies and gentlemen; Introducing for the second time Victorian Halls, this time on the background of the release of their second EP merely titled "Victorian Halls". Now if you haven't heard about this band yet, I'll relay to you what seems to be the key message of their promo material:

"With their debut, 2008's "Springteen", Victorian Halls created a sonic collision of pop melodies and psychotic pulsing rhythms that gained them a great deal of praise. Rather than resting on their laurels, the Midwest's hardest working band put together a new EP that pushes the envelope even further on their trademark 'straightjacket pop'.

If you're unclear about what this means soundwise I'll just tell you; It means they sound like The Blood Brothers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the resemblance is leaning over the border of plagiarism, but then I guess that's almost inevitable when you've actually found a guy who sings as uniquely as Johnny Whitney (TBB) to sing for your band. In any case, I'll be frank and reveal that I didn't care much for the band's debut. It may have been just too close to the actual breakup of the The Blood Brothers or I might have just had a bad day, but fact remains that the first seven songs I heard from these guys sounded like too much posturing, too few hooks and too little content. An opinion that held while listening to "Springteen EP" again before reviewing its successor though.

What a joy it is then, to find that the new record fixes pretty much everything I'd want to have fixed about the old one. Victorian Halls have arguably become a slight bit more poppy, but when they go as far over-the-top as they do, the resulting ridiculous insanity is apparently so devilishly infectious that it gets to you on the first listen. Fans of TBB or Foxy Shazam will recognize the completely hysterical vocals and the manic piano-boxing, which on these four new songs reach for the same great effect that characterized TBB classics like "Laser Life" or "Trash Flavored Trash". "It's Not Fad, It's Etiquette" is the best example of this, while the opener "Desperate Storyline" dances along similarly to something off Chiodos' "Bone Palace Ballet" and "Neon Skies Light My Nerves Up" has got enough cheeky attitude and disco tunes to exhilarate fans of Mindless Self Indulgence.

All in all, I find the four tracks offered here to be a tremendous step forward for Victorian Halls; a step from mediocrity onto my band-radar. If this is the standard for things to come, following this band in the future could just turn out being a whole lot of fun. I for one am looking forward to find out.


Download: "It's Not Fad, It's Etiquette", "Neon Skies Light My Nerves Up"
For The Fans Of: The Blood Brothers, Foxy Shazam, Jaguar Love, Chiodos

Release Date: 24.01.2009

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