Are you sick of the same old boring, generic music being released these days? Are you in search of something fresh, new and exciting? Well, search no further because Chicago’s Victorian Halls is anything but ordinary. You don’t know if they’re indie rock or electronic pop but you really don’t care, this is just what you needed. If you had any ideas of the capabilities of this band with their debut Charlatan, prepare to be even more impressed. Their sophomore Victory Records release, Hyperalgesia leaves that insane, erratic sound in the dust leaving a more polished, mature sound in its wake. I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of this type of music but Victorian Halls finds a way to capture me every single time.
A slow acoustically-led intro brings us into the album as “All My Friends” lulls you into a false sense of security, continuously building up until the end. As the first real album track, “Adorned Scarlets” comes in, we’re reminded of why exactly we love this band. Through the oddly familiar vocal stylings of Sean Lenart, we’re taken to a different world… a world where everyone is the same, the outcasts are the most important individuals in the room and everyone is looking to have a good time. While this band simply makes music for the love of music, Hyperalgesia can only be described as an electropop explosion of colour and sound that even the biggest tough guys can get down to. The first single from the album, “Tonight Only the Dead” was originally introduced to us when it was least expected through the Victory Records Spring 2015 sampler, reintroducing the band in spectacular fashion. Easily one of the most fun songs of the Spring season, it is more symbolic as the beginning of Summer. A track that tackles the theme of “live life to the fullest” in a beautiful manner, “Tonight Only the Dead” is your reminder that “death’s waiting for you, and the cards are stacked.” Live life without regrets and leave a name for yourself when your end comes… because, after all, it’s not who you are that will be remembered… it’s what you did with your time on this earth.
“Dissolution”, the long-lost Killers song you never knew existed. As odd as that is to say for this band, I was 100% convinced through my first listen of this song that Brandon Flowers had lent his vocals/keyboards to this incredible track because it honestly feels like a Killers song. The vibe, the lyrics, everything about this song screams it… and, while this band is known for their originality, I’m convinced they meant it to sound that way.
Of course, if you want a peek at the darker side of the band… look no further than the aptly titled “Most Firearms Are Adequate In Killing An Undead Brain.” The first glimpse back into the erratic music they created in the past, “I can’t help but put bullets in all the things I love” describes this track perfectly. This is an angry, unforgiving beast of a track and lyric-wise is not for the faint of heart. That being said, it’s a perfect precursor to the much different 2nd single, “Come In With the Storm” which you can view the video for below. Where the band builds you up at the beginning with “All Your Friends”, you’re slowly wound down as the album closes with the gorgeous ballad “Currency.”
The good thing about this band is that you can’t place a genre label on them. They can appeal to fans of indie music, rock, pop, electronic music or anywhere in between. With Hyperalgesia, VH has reminded us why Victory signed them in the first place. They’ve certainly proven that even the outcasts in the world can shine, given the right outlet and, while some may continue to destroy this band for being “different”, they are proud of that. This album will be in my CD player for a long time to come! Pick up your copy of Hyperalgesia, out on Victory Records now! Currently, the band has no shows planned but you can bet they’ll be tearing up a stage near you this Summer!
“Come In With the Storm” (Official Music Video)