Minor Victories: S/T – album review

Minor VictoriesMinor Victories: S/T (PIAS)

LP | CD | DL

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An incredible multi-faceted debut from some of the finest musicians around, from the sinister to the heartfelt it has it all.

Minor Victories is the coming together of some of the finest musicians around, featuring members of Slowdive, Mogwai and Editors. Their self-titled album doesn’t just stop at featuring their own individual talents, it also features the talents of Mark Kozelek and James Graham of the Twilight Sad. On paper this conjures all manner of grandiose expectations, this super group has to potential to be incredible.

With that expectation come trepidation, would their individual talents gel and would this be all that we’d hoped for? The answer put simply is yes, opening up with an epic soaring orchestration in the form of Give Up The Ghost this bass driven track presents the first of many facets to Minor Victories sound.

As they bring the tempo down with Breaking My Light, with it’s dark and unnerving tone. it’s bombastic opening is merely that as it breaks down into a raw and heartfelt track, it is packed with urgency and intensity exquisitely composed strings accompanying this exceptional track.

However, it isn’t all string section and ethereal vocals, the album is cut with guitar driven rock tracks the likes of Cogs provided the perfect break. As the tempo ratchets, the only constant being Rachel Goswell’s vocals, which often sit atop the delicate melodies though on Cogs they are almost washed away by the furore of guitars and heavy drums as this thunderous track comes to an abrupt close.

For You Always provides yet another striking change of pace with Mark Kozelek taking lead vocals, in a track which again changes up the bands sound. An indie ballad where the track pales into the background as Kozelek and Goswell’s vocals become intertwined, as they trade heartfelt laments of times gone by.

As the album closes on Higher Hopes, the graceful track is once again accompanied by ethereal vocals that builds into a rousing crescendo, ending in a cacophony soaring guitars and thunderous percussion all alongside ecstatic strings. An otherworldly track to end an album that is truly out of this world, all expectations truly quashed as Minor Victories pull out all of the stops on this phenomenal album.

Minor Victories can be found online here minor-victories.com. They’re also on Facebook and tweet as @Minor_Victories.

All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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