Victory Season EP

Victory Season is the new project from Randy Cooper, the guitarist who was a founding member of the Texas Hippie Coalition – a band who specialized in their own brutal “red dirt metal” sound. Victory Season continues that path, their sound described as a southern hybrid mix of Mötley Crüe meets Pantera. I don’t know about you, but that description pulled me immediately – that’s a perfect mix. The band features Randy Cooper on guitars, Aaron “Ash” Starr on vocals, and a father / son duo on bass and drums – Duane Connaughton on bass and Tor Connaughton on drums. The band’s debut EP is an absolute killer statement of intent.

The EP kicks off with Light it Up – which has a brutal thrash vibe and doom-laden vocals that call to mind what a bastard child of the Seattle scene and Pantera would sound like. Absolutely brilliant, in other words. Be Kind recalls those halcyon days of the late 80’s metal scene. In fact, I can just envision this tune being played on MTV (remember when they played videos??). This song features Gary Jefferies helping the band out and it is an exercise in perfection. Strong melodies, laid back lyrics hinting at the good old days, and just has that “it” quality. A killer guitar solo caps the whole thing off. The acoustic workout Burn Tonight segues into the closer, Ghost Dance. This last song really encapsulates everything that the band excels at – uncompromising riffs, strong melodies, and impassioned vocals. A perfect way to close things out.

You can follow the band here. Keep an eye on their tour schedule to see if they are playing in a town near you – I know I’m hoping they make their way up to the Pacific Northwest.

Verdict: Stunning Debut

For Fans of: Pantera, Skid Row, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Hellyeah

Tracks:

  1. Light it Up
  2. Don’tread
  3. Cumin’ Home
  4. Be Kind (featuring Gary Jefferies)
  5. Burn Tonight
  6. Ghost Dance
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Dolly Parton – I Will Always Love You

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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.

“I Will Always Love You” is a song that will now always be associated with the tragic life of Whitney Houston. In fact – I’d be willing to gamble that quite a few people don’t realize that Miss Houston didn’t pen the song due to the popularity of her version. The song was written by Dolly Parton in 1973 and released as a single on June 6, 1974 (she later re-recorded it in 1982 for the soundtrack to the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). Dolly Parton had gotten her start singing girl group type songs (she appears on several of my 60’s girl-group box-sets, most notably One Kiss Leads to Another). She didn’t really hit her stride until she hooked up with Porter Wagoner as part of his syndicated television program. Several duet albums followed with several chart hits in the early 70’s. The professional partnership had reached its logical conclusion by 1973 or 1974 and Dolly captured all of her feelings about the end of this relationship in “I Will Always Love You”. While I can appreciate the Whitney Houston version, restraint goes a long way in my book. The way the words roll off Dolly’s tongue, the sadness lurking – it’s all there for us to experience for eternity. Author Curtis W. Ellison stated that the song “speaks about the breakup of a relationship between a man and a woman that does not descend into unremitting domestic turmoil, but instead envisions parting with respect – because of the initiative of the woman.” I couldn’t have said that better myself. Key lyrics:

And I hope life, will treat you kind
And I hope that you have all
That you ever dreamed of
Oh, I do wish you joy
And I wish you happiness
But above all this
I wish you love
I love you, I will always love