Toronto's The Victim Party have decided upon a slightly novel approach to releasing their second album. There's no vinyl or any CD for Getting To Know The Victim Party. What there is though is a comic book, something that I know a lot of people involved with Punknews are really into. The music itself, nine tracks in all, is obtained via a download that comes on a bookmark which accompanies the book. I guess you could ask what came first the comic book or the music but to be honest who really cares?
The book contains nine chapters, each one of which is like a loose pictorial version of the lyrics to the corresponding track on the album. It's not quite that clear in the interpretation but there are moments that tie in with ease, whereas others are supposed to be less factual. The book is actually based around the story of the band hence the title, Getting To Know The Victim Party, as each member of the band has a track which relates to them in some way (identified by their name being in the song/chapter title).
Rather than directly displaying the actual members of the band as themselves, the book centres around animal characters, including a bear and a chimp who I take to be the two vocalists, which have been anthropomorphised, thus adding a bit of a twist to the tale. The book itself is over 70 pages long, so it's not just a throwaway piece of work - there's definitely been a lot of effort gone into its creation and the end result is one that all concerned should be proud of as it's well drawn and a good read also.
Okay, so hopefully you get some idea of the book but I'm not much of a comic book guy so for me it's onto the more important part of the package - new music from one of the many Canadian bands that float my boat these days. There has been no need for The Victim Party to alter its modus operandi as they've delivered some mighty fine melodic punk rock in the last couple of years and have not let me down yet. Therefore, once the first track, "Spring Mixer" the tale of a party at which Bear and Chimp meet, kicks in after the chattering voices designed to set the scene, I am turned into a grinning fool as the band confirms that no changes have been made other than new songs having been written.
There's no denying that my status of 'fan' is once again firmly cemented with this release. There are many facets offered up by this sextet which appeal to me but first and foremost it has to be the duel vocals of Tabi IranI and Colin Lichti, who work off each other so well. Both voices have their merits but together they work wonders. It helps then that there's a double six string attack to help create some great riffs and leads throughout the record as well as some really tight and crisp drumming. And let's not forget the bass - it's there and it works neatly in tandem with the drums, allowing the tracks to bounce along with gusto. All in all, this is quality up tempo music guaranteed to create a sense of wellbeing and enjoyment.
If you like high energy melodic punk rock with a pop-punk bent then this is for you. Although I'm sure you already au fait with the band otherwise that might mean you've got a couple of releases to catch up on once you've realised how good this is. It's good to see bands are willing to do something a bit different these days as to be honest it's so easy to 'release' music without any physical product being involved that we have easily reached a saturation point in terms of the amount of music that is available.