Spinning Wheel

Victory Chimes

Independent release, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Victory Chimes is the brainchild of Montreal resident Jeff Louch, who has played in bands like Dear Denizen, Royal Mountain Band, Super Little and Spoon River, to name a few. He’s been plugging away under this moniker since 2008, although Spinning Wheel my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 is the first album he’s released as Victory Chimes.

An outfit rooted very much in synth, Louch also touches on psych-friendly ideas as the eight songs here unfold with dreamy, shoegazey, and ultra-melodic flourishes.

“Paradise” starts out hypnotic and ambient before vocals and guitar burst in on a moodier rocker that recruits pretty female backing vocals as the music brings electro-pop, post-punk, and retro-pop ideas. “The Pelican” follows and takes a similar approach with haze setting the atmosphere before the calm percussion and melodic guitars contribute. “Halos” takes a drastic turn into fuller drums and a more pop-fueled approach that's more obvious synth rock but still retains a grittiness endemic to alt-rock. “Blood On The Tracks” then extends that notion into synthetic drumming of the quicker indie pop that is both danceable and introspective.

The back half of the listen is equally interesting, with the folk meets synth-pop of “Disappearing,” the darker and stylish “Bubbles,” which brings to mind to brilliant work of Thom Yorke, and “Emilia” then takes a turn into an almost classical slant with roaming keys. “40 Days On The Bridge” closes out the affair in a breezy and contemplative mood, featuring summery melodies and heartfelt, soaring vocals from Louch.

Is a decade too long to wait for a debut album? Probably. But Louch wrote and recorded this entire album in his home, affording him the time to really get the sound he wanted. A listen that was impressive the first time through, by the third spin I was completely enthralled with Spinning Wheel. I think you will be, too, especially if you're a fan of Radiohead or Interpol.

Rating: A-

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