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Victor Scott “Good Times” Review

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Victor Scott Good Times

It’s amusing to learn that Victor Scott approached Good Times, his second full length, influenced heavily by soundtracks. Not necessarily influenced by those those similar to The Big Chill, but rather the idea that albums don’t have to follow a pattern, or a set genre to make sense and maintain their flow. As such Good Times is as unexpected a mixture as the oddball collaboration that saw Quentin Tarantino and the RZA find common ground; even more strange however is that Good Times is in its own right as an album so much more complete.

Scott has mentioned Kill Bill in particular as a muse, one that inspired his latest set, noting of an epiphany that hit him when listening to the soundtrack, “I realized that records didn’t have to sound the same. In fact I liked it when they didn’t.” Accordingly no tracks on Good Times sound the same, each finding their own pocket of individuality. As for that Kill Bill thing, the album has its “Hollow Leg,” evidence of sountrack-veteran Tomoyasu Hotei’s seemingly omnipresence in modern film. Good Timesalso hits its quirky novelty peak with a fusion of synth and 5.6.7.8.’s-like energy on “Dance Dance Party.” Even as Good Times introduces itself to your speakers for the first time, knowledge of his muse or not, it becomes obvious that it is nothing if not a soundtrack to Scott’s thoughts.

Embellishing the album’s differences and straying points fails to fully convey how it sounds though as the record presents itself as a solid piece of consistency all the way through. “I Walk Alone” is the traditional everyman song, gently, bluesily explaining pop music’s gazingly indulgence of loneliness. “The Red Dragon” and “Zygamatix” assimilate worldly sounds, (North) Americanizing historical references for the sake of making them digestible. “Want U Need 2″ is a crafty minimal drum machine ballad that sounds of nothing less than a bizarro top forty love song. That being said the tracks “Oh No (Baby Don’t Go)” and “Fortune Favours the Brave,” both of which root themselves as much in low-budget independence as in mainstream rock, give album its structure, serving musical backbones of sorts.

“Oh No (Baby Don’t Go)” glares with the fastest pace of any song in the set. Given its running time of under two minutes the track firmly plants itself in the belly of the album as a laxative, making sure that the relaxed pace the music on the album later takes isn’t digested at a snail’s pace. “Fortune Favours The Brave” is something altogether different however, revealing itself as having the album’s most accessible riff melded with the funnest set of lyrics offered in the set. It’s hard to place the song within the context of the rest of the album, as it sounds little of everything else around it yet not too far from the ordinary; but isn’t that the point?

It’s interesting to think of Scott’s attempts to broaden the album by unburdening each individual track from generic labels because he did so in a way that takes little away from the act of actually listening to the music. With Good Times the listener isn’t forced to endure a brooding lullaby for seven minutes, nor are they subjected to a piece of music shockingly chaotic and out of place. The album’s fourteen tracks span a mere thirty five minutes, no track really leaving an impression of being too short nor too long. All the same, no track sounds neither alike nor out of place in terms of those it neighbors on the track listing. Good Times does in reality fail in achieving the that of its muse, however. The album is unsuccessful in capturing Kill Bill’s gut wrenching bipolarism while presenting itself as a complete and curiously linear collection of wonderful music.