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Victory At Sea

Mel Lederman (Sugar Bitch), Mona Elliot (Spore), and Cristina Files (ex-Swirlies) got together in 1996 to form Victory at Sea, a multi-faceted Boston band who explore the oddly tuned, angular, slow-burning mathy approach with considerable poise. The Victory at Sea sound is characterized by an elusive and attention-demanding irony, a startling intimacy, and a reassuring lullaby quality. Much like their friends Shipping News, Victory at Sea opts for glacial tempos to create an appealingly brooding dissonance. Singer Elliot's cool, spectral voice is a ghostly cousin to Kristin Hersh and Mary Timony, providing a fitting mouthpiece for the band's dark, fragmented little fairy tales.

Bob Weston recorded their debut album The Dark is Just the Night in a Boston loft. The recording captures the band's lyrical and musical clarity, intimacy, and fluid emotion. In 2000, drummer Files parted way with the band and was replaced by Finny Moore, late of the Boston bands Robots and Pizza. After recording the Easier Than Living EP in 2000, the retooled Victory at Sea returned in 2001 with a sophomore full-length, the 10-song Carousel, which offered more of the same morose guitar arpeggios, restrained noisiness, and stark vocals. On their third album, 2002's The Good Night, the group spread out, giving the changes and melodies a more relaxed feel and concentrating more heavily on rich songwriting. The album visits territory similar to recent work by Shannon Wright and PJ Harvey.