REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Last year, four-piece Victory Lane impressed critics and fans alike with their debut EP, ‘Louder Than Words‘, which was an effective showcase for the band’s fresh take on the pop-punk genre.
With that already under their belts, the rapidly-rising collective have now unveiled ‘Barebones’, its eagerly-anticipated follow-up.
Comprising of six tracks, the quartet recorded the new offering under the guidance of esteemed producer Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked in the past with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Don Broco.
‘Just Personal‘ opens proceedings by consistently being catchy, highly-energetic, and upbeat. At times, the sound can be rather generic, but it is a real toe-tapper, and certainly does its job of hooking the listener in.
Following track ‘Life Past 98‘ pretty much follows in the same sonic vein, at least to begin with.
However, the vocal delivery of frontman Dan Lamb is evidently more heartfelt, and he does a fantastic job of conveying the deeply personal and emotional lyrical subject matter of his father passing away when Dan was just a teenager, and what he felt over what undoubtedly was a very traumatic period.
As the song progresses, the tempo lowers significantly, with the guitar riffs becoming heavier yet slower-paced, and the drum beats becoming louder yet gentler at the same time.
Another highlight of the EP is provided by fourth number ‘Happy Sad‘, which with a sound that switches effortlessly between jolly and something altogether more sombre, as well as lyrics which deal frankly with Dan being in a state of emotional limbo, brought on by a reliance on anti-depressants, is a true reflection of how the four-piece are maturing, both musically and as human beings.
Overall, ‘Barebones‘ initially comes across as an average pop-punk release, but as things move forward, the band are able to draw the listener in with a well-crafted combination of songs that will leave them feeling a whole range of emotions.
TOP TRACK: ‘Life Past 98’