ALBUM REVIEW: “Victoria!” by The Downtown Struts

May 14. 2012 | By Bryan Wallace

The Downtown Struts
[Pirates Press]

Chicago’s heart is bruised and beaten from the Bulls plummeting in the first round against the Sixers. Now if the Windy City could only catch the breeze of their hometown honchos, The Downtown Struts’ latest record, Victoria!.

“Have you ever been face down in the gutter? Have you ever been face down on the ground? I know I have!” Dan Cooper and Ben Hjelmstad belt-out at the end of “Prologue.” This is an alarming forewarning for what these Chi-towners are about to deliver; a punk record signed, sealed, and delivered. This quartet packs a punch with drummer Zach Byrne keeping the rapid pace like Guy “Shades” Patterson in That Thing You Do. The dueling vocals of Cooper and Hjelmstad paint the scene of a cohesive full-band sound in tracks like “Back to N.Y.” and “Anchors.” From the lyrics, it is evident that the band has a shared experience considering there is a perpetual theme of travel throughout Victoria!, an ode to cities like New York, San Francisco, Austin, and their Midwestern home of Chicago.

Hear the stories yourself; in the form of the hard-hitting punk record that is Victoria! (Even the title is a shout!).

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