Victims Family - Have a Nice Day [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Victims Family

Have a Nice Day [7-inch] (2012)

Alternative Tentacles

Have a Nice Day, the first taste of new material from Victims Family in over a decade is a summation and tightening of the band's career.

"Have a Nice Day" binds together what makes Victim's Family so unique. While the song is based around hardcore punk, at times it builds up into sunny chords which could be on a surf record, but then, the nicer sounding music is abutted with vocalist/guitarist's Ralph Spight's wry lyrics "We're gonna kick you in the head and beat you until you have a nice day!" But, being Victims Family, the song isn't strictly "punk sounding." Spight's ringing guitar backs the music with a bolero style guitar that could fit in at a bullfight. The contrast between nasty and nice, and familiar and freakish, bound together exhibits why the band has been able to maintain a cult following, as well as why the music is a little too complex for them to ever become huge.

While the a-side is interesting, if somewhat classic sounding, the flip-side "Let's Cancel the Future" is where the band really shines. Split into two parts, the song eschews standard song structure and kicks off with a popping, funky bass. Then, Spight comes down over the top, barking and howling in a late Funkadelic style rapp (read: not "rap") and laments what is to come. Then, just as the song establishes a groove, the band pulls out the rabbit and warps into a twisting heavy metal riff before finally fading out through a jazz picking style outro. The song has twists and turns that come out of nowhere, but work naturally instead of jarring the listener, which shows the band's mastery of style mashing.

As a stand alone release, Have a Nice Day works surprisingly well with the standard on one side and the shocking on the other. Let's hope they shock us with a full-length next.