Minor Victories 'Minor Victories' review

Members of Mogwai, Editors and Slowdive combine for a cinematic epic - Ben Smith reviews.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 4th Jun 2016.
Originally published: 3rd Jun 2016

Image: Minor Victories 

Editor's Justin Lockey declared this album mid-process as "sounding fucking class". This was entirely believable when you consider Minor Victories is the resultant force of members from Editors, Slowdive and Mogwai merging as one. 

What was originally mapped as a solo experimental EP, quickly blossomed into a quaking epic when Justin reached out to Rachel Goswell in search of a female vocalist. Bit-by-bit the line up came together - including spots for James Graham of The Twilight Sad and Mark Kozelek - and they eventually recorded at Mogwai's Castle Of Doom studio in Glasgow. 

Fluent in churning shoegaze textures throughout, this album is one part heady thriller, the other an anthemic asteroid propelled by a crunching rhythm section.

Whichever way it tilts from track to track, Minor Victories is wonderfully cinematic and Goswell's vocal translates exactly as you remembered it from hours spent listening to Slowdive's Slouvaki. 

Scoping the records lead single, 'A Hundred Ropes' is  when the band shift into top gear, hurtling at light-speed, whizzed along by an kaleidoscopic synth underbelly and an eternal rhythmic throb. 

'Folk Arp' (listen below) is the equilibrium of the records shifting anthemic and experimental qualities. Beginning as a sonic snapshot of the northern lights occupying clear skies, it opens up with a sublime string arrangement until veering on a collision course towards a mesh of doom-impending percussion. 

If each of their qualities can interlock to create something as sprawling and jaw-gaping as this - then we better hope it's not just a one-off excursion. 

Putting this collaboration into perspective, 'supergroups' are more often than not an anti-climax. They aren't expected to stick round either. But the chemistry of Minor Victories defies this and we demand that they re-assemble for more in future.

Minor Victories play at Latitude Festival, taking place at Henham Park from Thursday 14 - Sunday 17th July - find Latitude tickets

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