The Victors – Victorious (Arf! Arf! Records)


The Victors were a typical 1960s garage band: Five Minnesota high-school kids making surf-music in 64/65, then quickly adapting to the harder “beat” sound of The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and Them. Victorious collects twenty-six Victors tracks (and five from The Scotsmen – essentially The Victors with a different singer) recorded from 1964 to 1966, and it shows them to be a merely competent group that suffered from a lack of original material (only eight songs are originals). Sound quality is also an issue, as less than half of the songs were recorded in the studio, leaving you with a bunch of shoddy rehearsals and live tapes to fill out the seventy-nine minute CD-length. Truth be told, the only thing that makes The Victors memorable over four decades later is that two of their members went on to play in The Litter (bassist Jim Kane and singer Denny Waite), whose song “Action Woman” is a garage-rock classic. Still, the band cooks on a 1965 studio session with no less than three Them covers, including a pretty cool version of “Gloria” in which Denny Waite mistakenly spells out “G-L-O-O-R-A” in the chorus, ruining any commercial potential the song might have had. Their version of “Little Girl” is also worth hearing for fans of guitar fuzz. Even though the music is hit-and-miss (something the band members freely admit), the extensive liner notes and photos make for an excellent presentation.