Chasing Victory

Mono vs. Stereo, 2007

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


First of all, Chasing Victory is a crappy band name. After many years writing about music, I don't think I've ever encountered any band that is chasing anything -- think the Coyote and Roadrunner -- because, rather, bands achieve goals, the most popular one being to tour the world  and get the opposite sex at the end of the night. There is nothing about being in a band that involves chasing anything that would lead to victory. The only exception I can think of is the band Chasing Amy, but their singer turned into The Bachelor so they don't really count.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Anhway, sorry. "Selling Out Ain't Easy" encapsulates this band's musical direction on Fiends, a pretty good disc from this poorly-named band. It's when this song switches easily between a low-intensity verse and a high-intensity chorus that the listener will begin to pay attention. The lyrics engage active listening when vocalist Adam Harrell sings, "I've been feeling kind of sick to my stomach / it's just a gimmick but the kids seem to love it / and if you're patient you can witness a sellout / I'm not a killer but Hollywood's going to drown / and if you're feeling original, don't let it go to your head / it's all been done before / you're not the first one."

The next track "The Skeleton Key to a Skeleton" is equally appealing. When Harrell couples his intense delivery with the pointed declaration "Freeze the frame where I take the blame," I smiled.

Drummer Jeremy Lowery adds a sense of driving -- okay, chasing -- beat with his frequent drum fills and interesting timekeeping patterns. He does not seem content to provide the backbeat or to merely be the tempo-keeper. Instead, tracks like "Dr. Jekyll/Stephen Hyde" provide a playground for his skills to be put on display. Yet, when the song calls for a simpler approach, as it does on "Oceans Away the Sequel," Lowery is content to power the song along -- the mark of a classy drummer.

After nearly 40 minutes, this turns out to be a mostly remarkable release. It's not the best in this hybrid genre of hardcore / metal / alternative, but it is at least interesting. Yes, that is a trombone that pops up on "G.O.B. Vs Tony Wonder" and that last track is pronounced "Crack'll Rot Your Teeth Out."

About the only other flaw is whomever designed this CD and made the lyrics so hard to read. It's a shame because this band has a lot of strong lyrics that require a booklet. It's a shame the band hinders the ability of their listeners to take their material to a deeper level in this way, but the quality of the music makes up for it, for the most part.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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