After ten years, Antietam returns with their seventh album Victory Park, an indie pop record that plays like Yo La Tengo in the sunniest of moods. While "The Annunciation" moves with a familiar groove, descended straight from the Velvet Underground and the late-'80s Hoboken scene, "Attract Mode" is actually closer to the '60s summer pop outfit the Free Design. Victory Park is never as aggressive as the band's critically acclaimed 1990 record, Burgoo, but this simmering rock and dream pop album takes an appropriate stride for a band that has been playing together since 1986. "Wish Factor" makes Antietam suddenly sound resonant again, in the same manner that the entirety of Murray Street did for Sonic Youth. With subtle, almost shoegazer tunes like "Blue Rose Melancholy," Antietam is unlikely to pick up new fans from the legions of pop punk kids who think the new Green Day record is nostalgic. But those who remember what indie rock meant in the early '90s, and either missed Antietam or forgot about them, will be blissfully transported back to the time of bands like Galaxie 500 and Teenage Fanclub; a time when the Afghan Whigs and the Breeders were on MTV's Alternative Nation. In a way, Victory Park is Antietam's best record, whether it is relevant to the times of its release or not, and it's a little bit sad that the band is not as well-known as Luna.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano