Absentee - Victory Shorts
Reviewed by Dave on 3rd October 2008
Victory Shorts represents the second full length studio album from the London based quintet Absentee. The theme of Victory Shorts is one of love, of both successful and failed romantic adventures and a feeling of hopeless romanticism.
‘Shared’ the opening track is a slow number in which the frankly gorgeous vocals of Dan Michaelson are shown off in their gravely glory. The song itself tells the story of two lovers who are on top of the world at finding each other and the prospect of sharing in each other’s lives, the slow nature of the song lends a fragility to the whole story and to the nature of love itself.
The couple pop up later on in the album on the acoustically driven ‘We Smash Plates’ which chronicles the events of their first argument and the make up afterwards it is a bittersweet song mirroring the feelings conjured by any first lover’s quarrel and subsequent make up.
The second track and current single ‘Boy, Did She Teach You Nothing?’ is much more reminiscent of the band’s previous outing Schmotime; it is bouncy and happy sounding, yet together with ‘Love has had its Way’ and ‘Bitchstealer’ it provides the darker side of the album and presents the listener with the fact that happy endings are rare and difficult to find and when we do find ourselves in a happy ending it is something we must fight for it.
With its pleading opening line of “Bring her back bring her back bring her back she wasn’t yours to take so just bring her back” ‘Bitchstealer’ perhaps best sums up the ideal that love is something we need to fight for but more than that it is about our inability to move on, to let the ones we love go “I need to find a way to try to make her stay when she wants to go”.
From start to finish Victory Shorts is hands down the strongest album released by Absentee so far and shows a lot of promise from a band who have nowhere to go from here but upwards.
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