There's only one thing better than a drum solo, and that's a drum duet. That's exactly what Hot Victory has to offer, with Ben Stoller and Caitlin Love each playing the skins, crashing, thumping and whacking in tandem. Erik Hanson provides occasional extra noise and samples. Hot Victory's debut self-titled 7", printed on really good-looking marbled blue vinyl, is celebrating its release tonight at Kelly's Olympian, and its three tracks exhibit the joy and energy of drumming in all its loud, percussive glory.
"Beach" is a clattering, slam bang three-minute drum fill, with triplets and ratamacues swooping and fluttering over cartoony sound effects. The drums crescendo and decrescendo, at times sounding incredibly violent and explosive, other times reigned in for subtlety. The beat shifts throughout, and the wet, lingering reverb gives the recording a cavernous sense of space.
"Construction" is aptly named, with ambient construction noises under (or over) a martial cadence, making the drums sound like part of the rhythm of the construction work. Both the drumming and the beeps and motors of the construction site take turns in the lead, with the end result sounding more like an art piece of anti-music than the celebratory show-off playing of the first track.
On the B-side, "Bungalow," drums are played alongside plastic buckets, with the occasional bicycle bell pinging for good measure. Tropical jungle noises are laid above, but towards the end of the track more noises creep in, taking us from the natural world to the synthetic one. A processed drumbeat signals the way to a full-on explosion with both drum kits providing a propulsive, relentless beat, with a melodic riff above. It's an action-packed climax to everything that's come before.
I can't think of anything else that sounds like Hot Victory. Rest assured they do not in any way evoke the Tommy Lee rotating-cage cheeseball drum solo from Motley Crue shows, or the arena-pleasing Phil Collins/Chester Thompson live drum duets of latter-day Genesis shows. Curse my tongue (or typing fingers) for even mentioning these. Hot Victory is weird, arty, angular, violent, and incredibly un-danceable. It also makes me really want to play the drums.
Listen to the tracks from the 7" and more at Hot Victory's MySpace page. Hot Victory plays TONIGHT at Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington, 10 pm, $5.