Where were you June 4th 2002? I was just finishing my sophomore year of high school, wondering why my now ex-girlfriend decided to kiss another boy on a cruise. (If that doesn’t scream small town, middle-class, white hetero problems…).
Well, as fate would have it, a new “friend” came into my life that day. In an effort to cheer me up, she put Atreyu’s Victory debut, Suicide Notes And Butterfly Kisses, in my walkman, cranked to 11, and put my $5 Sam Goody branded headphones over my ears before walking away all mysterious-like. And you know what? I hated it. Alex Varkatzas’ vocals in particular. The guttural scream was like nothing I’d ever heard, and with lyrics like “Fuck off, goodbye” I wasn’t impressed. But that CD stayed in my walkman for a week, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t air guitaring and singing along to every Varkatzas lyric by the time I ran into my lady friend again. We ended up dating for like 3 months, I think? Who’s to say. Look, you’re here for a vinyl review, not Andy’s high school “love” life. Wow, this is starting to feel like one of those recipe blogs where I tell you my life story as you desperately scroll, looking for how many cups of sugar to put in your banana bread… (it’s two cups btw). Okay, let’s get to it:
With the same art from Justin Borucki (likely since they didn’t do any sort of remix that I can tell), this re-release’s jacket and one-page insert stay true to the original release. And I’ll be damned, I never noticed Death By Stereo’s Efrem Schulz was featured on this record! And it’s so freakin’ obvious to me now. See, people? Album art and liner notes are still important! Stop settling for Spotify!
I was sent the translucent green pressing for review, but as you can see there are other variants available. While it’s light in weight (and color), this pressing isn’t a terrible one. It’s true, we’re not dealing with 180g or a remaster specifically for wax, but these o.g. mixes hold up surprisingly well on my cut, especially the stereo imaging of the harmonizing guitars on “A Song for the Optimist” and the depth between guitar and piano on “Lip Gloss and Black.” The album also plays back nice and flat, keeping Craft’s reputation for re-presses a solid one in my book. See my other Victory re-press reviews here.
I appreciate when a band, label, and/or manufacturer can find a way to make an affordable re-press without many frills. And for $26 at your local record store, it’s a fair trade—not to mention keeping your local record shop afloat! So find yourself a copy here before they sell out.