Minor Victories carries that heavy term “super group” that can be the kiss of death in the music world. Comprised of Rachel Goswell (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Justin Lockey (Editors), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), and James Lockey (film-maker, also Justin’s brother) – it truly is an alternative music world super group. Fortunately in this case the group exceeds all expectations. Braithwaite had claimed in an early interview (before the album was released) that the group sounded like the best bits of the members main bands. And, well – he wasn’t wrong. The album also features contributions from Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) and James Graham (The Twilight Sad). Each contribution adds something to the overall atmosphere of the record. In fact, I expected this to be a nice stop-gap to hold me over until the forthcoming Slowdive album. Instead what I got was an album that I’ve had on repeat since the day of release.
Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
Galaxie 500 followed up their impressive 1988 debut album Today with 1989’s near perfect On Fire. The tunes were stronger, the lyrics more cutting. It remains the highlight of the band’s all too brief career – Dean Wareham’s affecting unconventional vocals in tandem with his Velvet Underground inspired guitar riffs, Naomi Yang’s slowcore bass, and Damon Krukowski’s perfect drums displaying a band perfectly in sync. Strange is the 4th song on the album and perfectly encapsulates the Galaxie 500 experience. Warbling, slightly out of tune vocals working hand in hand with infectious guitar & bass riffs. The emotional havoc emanating from Wareham’s vocal delivery is a rewarding & exhilarating journey. The lyrics alternate between philosophical & ordinary, tying the two together as one. How can anyone know what someone’s impression is of you or if it lines up with your self view? That’s my take on it, and the song has served me well for years.
Why’s everybody actin funny?
Why’s everybody look so strange?
Why’s everybody look so pretty?
What do I want with all these things?
I went alone down to the drugstore
I went in back and took a Coke
I stood in line and ate my Twinkies
I stood in line, I had to wait