Victory Garden - Madeleine (Cover Artwork)

Victory Garden

Madeleine (2019)


Victory Garden released their first EP, “Madeleine,” back in April. The band has gone through some lineup changes, and seemed in a state of constant limbo for a long time. But with a steady lineup and the release of “Madeleine,” it seems Victory Garden has righted the ship.

The EP does a delicate dance between pop punk and melodic hardcore. That interplay is not to be mistaken for the often hokey delivery of bands like A Day to Remember or Four Year Strong. Rather, the balance is in the subtle tension between the music and the vocals. Duncan’s vocal delivery elevates the poppiness and melody of songs that otherwise could be filed alongside DC’s hey-day hardcore era ala Dag Nasty.

“No Luck,” the EP’s third track, is exemplary in showcasing Victory Garden’s ingenuity here. The song opens with a fast-paced hardcore riff that segues into a verse that maintains that edgy melodic hardcore sound. But as the song heads into its breakdown chorus, the paces slows and much of the aforementioned melody shines through. And then the song’s over, in less than a minute. The band follows this format on “How Am I Going to Function?” as well, making for a pair of clever and well-written songs that are potent because of their brevity.

The final song on the EP, “Formal Clothes,” is also its most impactful. The song plays with a ballad-esque tone, which seems appropriate given the introspective and lamenting lyrical content. The opening guitar riff and hi-hat drumming lead the song into mid-tempo choruses and speedier verse parts. The guitar work here is really well done, offering octaves and layered tracks that add to the power of the song as a whole. The vocal harmonies that help bring the song to a close also demonstrate an awareness of how to add the right touches to a recording without going overboard.

As a self-released EP, this an impressive offering from Victory Garden. The musicianship and production are quality. The songs are well-written, and it’s clear the band knows the strongest aspects of its sound. There’s even a quick guest vocal spot on the title track by Silent Majority’s Tommy Corrigan. This is the sort of band that will bridges the gap between Face to Face and Kill Your Idols wonderfully. A must-listen from a band with much potential.