Punk had become such a series of codified moves many times over by 2011 that the question was less what it was than what it could be otherwise. Victory and Associates' debut album takes a simple tack to it all -- what if the potentially anthemic energy were married to new wave-derived nerviness and nervousness, and giddily so? As such, These Things Are Facts rewrites no rule books -- the love for the Buzzcocks, Black Flag, Wire, and Devo among many others is clear -- but there's a kind of fresh feeling that almost recalls early Vancouver punk as much as anything else, with a healthy dose of reflection sneaking in amidst the spirited rabble-rousing. Then again, given the band's San Francisco location, it could be a Pacific Coast thing, and songs like "You Can't Eat Prestige" come from a long line of artistic work about ambivalence regarding what it means to be functioning within a world designed to get you to compromise. "Brothers Doing It for Themselves" is a fittingly snarky title, but the sense of getting up and out and doing something is hard to argue, and everything from the bass growl in the introduction (and in the reprised conclusion) to the killer chorus comes together well. Having another song called "Turn Down the Guitars (‘11)" has -- of course -- a ridiculous but still satisfying guitar solo leading the way. And if the title "Funundrum" sounds like something that should be from a bad They Might Be Giants knockoff, the brawling overlay of vocals and guitars is more of a giddy leap of angry action all done with a smile.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett