It seems few shows happen downtown that do not feature at least one of the bands that comprise this excellent release, The Colored Vinyl Split. No one will ever label the Victory Smokes and Good Neighbor Policy (GNP) anything except indie or alt-rock, but that’s no knock. College bands of yore were able to turn alternative-to-mainstream with solid songwriting, and both these bands are well-suited to carry that torch. With only six tunes, the split showcases a wide variation in textures—whether it’s the keyboard-heavy layers of the Smokes or the cello of Good Neighbor. In particular, I found myself replaying the GNP tracks just to listen to bassist Rob Mottram do some melodic heavy lifting. And, in general, both bands perform passionate, tight tunes.
While these bands are more “rock” in a live setting, the recording does a better job of capturing that element of the Good Neighbor Policy than it does the Victory Smokes, mostly because the GNP side just has a little more energy coming out of the speakers. If you’re curious about either of these bands, or what the show-going folks in Missoula seem to be digging these days, this split is the best place to start. (Chris La Tray)
Victory Smokes open for Times New Viking at the Badlander, Monday, June 9, 8 PM. $11. 18+.