By Anita Stewart, Rock At Night Pittsburgh
Album Review: Victims of Circumstance “V”-Release date: January 24, 2020 via Financial Records
Tampa Bay’s very own Punk/Ska band, Victims of Circumstance is dropping their fifth studio album in January 24th, 2020, titled “Five” or “V.” Twelve songs that will get you grooving, singing and moving your feet to the beats! Just took a listen and I loved this album! Makes me think of dancing or driving and great for the car stereo. The songs varied enough–not all of them sounded ska so this is a great album for rock, pop and reggae lovers too. Sometimes I was reminded of Rage Against the Machine or Flogging Molly or other times, the music was reminiscent of the English Beat.
Heavy on the horns, guitar riffs and lots of melodic hooks and captivating lyrics, this album will be a classic. Victims of Circumstance have been around for almost 15 years now and are based out of Clearwater, Florida, right outside of Tampa. The current line-up includes the following: Michael Smyth (vocals & guitar), Glenn Stewart (drums), Lindsey Pittard (bass), Jason Atheney (saxophone), and Devin Johnson (trumpet).
Rock at Night did a brief write up on this band just last month. You can check that article out HERE.
Breaking down the songs…
Sober–True punk/ska style highlighting the horns and bass–very fast tempo. Small sax solo and harmonizing backup vocals in the chorus.
Tonight We’re Getting Loud–a party song in true rock, pop, ska style! For those of us that remember the pogo, yes, this is the song to do that dance! A sound of popping the cap off a beer at the very end!
The X–yes, this is about the “X” or “ex.” Funny lyrics, an angry, poignant break-up song with a ska beat and horns. Lyrics about the “ex’s” less than redeeming qualities!
Involuntary–strong bass line opening and then goes into some heavy rock guitar riffs, horn trills, lyrics with anger and rage, claiming one’s own space in a relationship gone wrong.
Aggravated–ska beats, drums are highlighted in this one, more anger and rage, lyrics reveal disillusionment with life.
Obey the Rules–starts out with a nice, slow groove and overlaying horns and reggae rhythms. Speeds up the tempo–mid song! Loved this one!
Enemy–opening made me think of Rage Against the Machine, fast rock riffs with the horns echoing the same notes. Nice vocal hooks in this one! A ska sing along! Loved the bell!
Quit Looking for the Win (Vinnie Owes Us a Solid)–fun ska dance beat, lots of horns, great bassline and more pop/jazz than the other songs so far. Nice vocal harmonizing.
Never Have I Ever–poignant ska/rock/punk love song about new found love.
Roll the Dice–groovy ska song with a heavy bass line, great guitar riffs and a dance beat, lots of horns–a breakup song in spite of the lively beats.
The Edge–this song features the bass and guitar with horns overlaying everything. Fast driving beat, more punk than ska. Latin type, bossa nova riffs with the horns.
Ready to Go–fun ska/punk almost rockabilly, pop style with fun sing-along vocals.
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