A few weeks ago, catching Bite Size Giant at Connie’s Ric Rac, I was given a copy of an album by another band on the bill that night. The band, A Victim of Good Times, is another Philadelphia group with a penchant for laying down some truly listenable music.
Comprised of Matt Gaines on vocals and guitar, Mike Lebovitz on bass, Matt Delaney on drums, and Clayton Thomas on guitars, the band boasts Philadelphia mainstays that have played many popular Philly venues on countless occasions. An amalgamation of talents from many other acts, A Victim of Good Times is a collaboration of tremendous artistic talent.
The album they were giving out at the Ric Rac was The Summer EP, a collection of five songs of alternative-rock inspiration and college-rock daze. The first track, “Loyalton”, is an airy, slow-tempo jam – the kind you play on a rainy day. The speed picks up with “So Nice”, which is a romp-a-thon that goes from pulse-pounding, to melodic, and back again in a style reminiscient of Nirvana. “The Good Life” is a plodding track about losing the so-called good life, and is similar in composure to 50’s doo-wop (minus the vocals). The fourth song, “Red Red Red”, is an up-tempo track with generously distributed guitar distortion and vocal effects. The last track, “No Fooling”, is a methodical song, perfect for the wallflowers among us. A fun song, it hearkens back to some of the more popular work done by The Pixies, such as “Where Is My Mind?”
On the first listen, you might wonder what it is you’re supposed to be feeling. I got the same impression and the conclusion I came to was that I was simply thinking too hard about it. The Summer EP is an album that’s meant to be enjoyed, not digested. It’s a journey through event and emotion, without the need for strange metaphor or cryptic wording.
The night I saw them at the Ric Rac, by the way, they were sans drummer for some reason. Perhaps not surprisingly, they sounded damn good even without their beatman.
You can grab The Summer EP at A Victim of Good Times’ Bandcamp page, either as a free download, or a $3 hard copy.