[sic] Magazine

Minor Victories – Minor Victories

Part Mogwai, part Slowdive, part Editors. Minor Victories are a band of perhaps limited appeal, but good lord, they’re seemingly designed to solely tick every box in my book of bands. Rachel Goswell of Slowdive handles lead vocals on almost every song, with Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, Justin Lockey (and his brother James) of Editors, and a guest appearance from James Graham of The Twilight Sad. Make no mistake, this is weapons grade, middle-class vague rock of the most potent recipe.

In many ways, the half-sung, half-whispered vocals, remind me of Curve, but – coupled with the music – it’s much better than that: huge dynamics, and sweeping, epic sounds, recreations of string orchestras using detuned guitars, and insistent, precise rhythms, make the music a glorious racket. There are choruses, of a sort. Songs in there. But really, what this is, is something more.. intangible, untouchable, more suggestive of vague emotions, of feelings, textures, atmosphere, and of an elegant, almost doomed movement, a rough moment, a glance, a look between illicit lovers, a shared secret, a huge romantic gesture. Argh. It’s all hyperbole. Do you like Mogwai? Do you like Editors? Do you think they’d sound amazing with Slowdive mixed in? Sure you would.

Much as I hate the thought of supergroups, really Minor Victories are the kind of band that I would love if I didn’t know who was in them, though I’d never find them. The album is a deceptively short, and there’s something about the sound, a dense, guttural guitar sound that frankly, I could just listen to all day. I can’t stop listening to this, it’s brilliant, and I can’t explain why.

For more from Mark, please visit The Final Word

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