Victor! Fix The Sun – Person Place or Thing
Record Label: Friction Records
Release Date: October 20, 2009
When you don't hear a great record from 2009 until 2010, you instantly wonder who is to blame. It could be poorhouse record labels, swamped PR aficionados or an unfairly crowded release season. The music industry seems to work in some code that I have yet to decipher, and it is only made more frustrating when a record like Victor! Fix The Sun’s Person Place or Thing seeps through the annoying cracks that were created by Napster and then dammed by Lars Ulrich. The Michigan band’s immediate take on post-punkcore a la La Dispute or Drive Like Jehu (geezers!) would have landed on my Year-End list no question (probably under the “Best Post-Dinner Music of 2009” section). But it didn’t and this review hardly has the power to amend such oversight. OR DOES IT?
If you don’t know singers/screamers Ryan Martin or Patrick Boylan, you will after Person Place or Thing finishes its erratic playtime. Both vocalists treat their measly vocal chords like I treated my first (deceased) wife. There is nothing to hold these disgruntled men back, especially since the discordant, often twostep-worthy guitar riffs act as propulsive forces of Nasa spaceship proportions. “We Come From The Northwoods” uses every trick of it’s 6+ minutes to impart upon us the emotional ramifications of being young and unsure (“We’re never going home!”). Jeff Kraus’ garage rock drum solo takes a smart center stage here and for once you can reflect, although you better do it quickly.
“Infested, Mother Approved” grooves itself into another startling scream, and it’s clear that the band has something special saved up for Person Place or Thing’s finale. A welcomed amount of clean vocals always teeter on the angst of a good scream, but this unease doesn’t stifle any enjoyment. A similar tenseness never resolves in the band’s take on pop songwriting, “Paperthin Feather Fuck,” which is catchy but also tiring due to our edge-of-seat status. I never took a drama class and only watch porn, but that still sounds pretty dramatically effective to me. And when it comes down to it, that’s what this type of music is always about. People don’t walk around screaming during conversations for a reason. So when a band, any band, decides their calling card will be anti-melodic roars, it says something about their endgame before we’ve even heard a note. Victor! Fix The Sun use all the angular stop-starts and frantic screaming to add an invisible instrument to the proceedings. I don’t want to call it authenticity, for fear of what that implies to every band not taking this approach, but whatever this indeterminable quality is certainly falls in the same category. Regardless, Person Place or Thing is everything it’s title implies: real.
Recommended If You Like: La Dispute, Sleep Bellum Sonno, croak, Drive Like Jehu, bellow
I know what he's saying. I saw La Dispute 3 years ago in my hometown of 3,500 people (about fifteen people in attendance)...never expected them to be on the front page of ap.net. It is just so cool to see them come up.