Minor Victories is quite the supergroup. I know, that term gets thrown around so much it’s starting to lose its meaning. But what else could you call a band that boasts Editors’ Justin Lockey, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite and Hand Held Cine Club’s James Lockey?
Minor Victories came to fruition when Justin Lockey had the idea to release an extreme noise EP with delicate female vocals to temper the sonic violence. So he reached out to Rachel Goswell, who was up for the idea. They started writing and finished two tracks without ever meeting, and then decided the songs could use some more guitar. Enter Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, who also happened to have some ideas for songs lying around. And so what was originally meant to be an EP, turned into a full-length that largely came to be over Skype.
Opening track “Give Up The Ghost” is a solid introduction to Minor Victories. A simple rhythm, haunting synth sounds, buzzing guitars and Rachel’s seductive vocals are all the elements they need to make an instantly impressive track. The krautrock-y “A Hundred Ropes” has Mogwai written all over it and is the perfect soundtrack to a nightly drive, while “Breaking My Light” has an oriental vibe going on and made me think of Soulsavers.
The delicate “Folk Arp”, all delicate keys and dreamlike vocals, is bookended by “Scattered Ashes (Song For Richard)” and “Cogs”, two of the album’s most rocking songs. “The Thief” is seven minutes of tension and suspense that explodes at the end, while “Higher Hopes” starts out like a little Sigur Ros moment before ending with the extreme noise Justin had his heart set on when starting this project.
Minor Victories might not deviate too far from their other bands on the band’s self-titled debut, but honestly… I couldn’t care less. This is friggin’ great.