Thursday, July 4, 2013

REVIEW: a.c. acoustics - Victory Parts / The Silver Echo & The Golden Echo (live at Reading)

Formed in Glasgow in 1990 by Paul Campion (vocals/guitar) and Caz Riley (bass), a.c. acoustics enjoyed a 12 year run of recording and shows.  Despite musical talent, quality songwriting and fans in the industry, they were unable to capture a wide audience.  The band started out as a noise pop band with an experimental bent (violins and saxophones were included from time to time), but evolved to more of a multi-textured rock sound by the second half of the '90s.  Additional members were Dave Gormley (drums/vocals) and Roger Ward (guitar), replaced by '97 by Mark Raine (guitar/vocals/organ).

Their discography included multiple EPs and four LPs.  Fire Records gave their third album, 2000's Understanding Music the reissue treatment.  Now, One Little Indian has resurrected the critically well-received second album, Victory Parts in a tastefully beefed-up release.  Available on two CDs or digital download, the package includes the re-mastered album, three rare extra tracks, and a live set, The Silver Echo & the Golden Echo, recorded at the Reading Festival in 1996.

Any long-time fan of the band will need little encouragement to reach for Victory Parts / The Silver Echo & The Golden Echo (live at Reading); if you know the a.c. acoustics, you know that this compilation is like finding an unexpired gift card or a long-forgotten bottle of cask strength single malt.  But in my view the appeal of this record should go beyond the existing fans.  This really is very good pop music.  The guitars are loud but melodic, the lyrics poetic, and the percussion and bass assured.   I think that if you were asked to name an album that encapsulates most of what was good about '90s rock music, Victory Parts should be on the short list.  Get it, and play it loud.  You deserve it.

A live version of "I Messiah Am Jailer", performed at the T in the Park festival --

One Little Indian

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