Written by Jason Nauman.
Playing in a band is a lot like gambling: you can make the right moves at the right time, but if luck doesn’t come your way on a given day, then it‘s usually a sign to cut your losses and walk away. Had Anaheim, California’s New Years Day called it quits five years ago, I don’t think anyone would have blamed them. The band’s former label, TVT records, went belly up in 2008, prompting their then debut album My Dear to be left under promoted. An album that should have taken the band to the next level in the rock stratosphere instead ended in the band imploding, losing multiple original members and putting their musical future in jeopardy. It seemed as if the deck were stacked against New Years Day.
Lesser bands would have collapsed under the weight of that setback, but the remaining members of New Years Day stuck together and continued writing new material. The resulting album, the appropriately titled Victim to Villain, shows the band taking advantage of a fresh start to create a new direction for themselves.
Stylistically on Victim to Villain, the group keeps their pop sensibilities intact from My Dear and layers in alt metal riffs and haunting choruses. The resulting sound is something that’s equal parts catchy and rocking. It’s a balance that serves the band well, giving equal room for singer Ashley Costello’s voice to soar and the well executed hard rock to be fleshed out from band members Russell Dixon (drums), Jake Jones (guitar), Nikki Misery (guitar), and Anthony Barro (bass).
Whatever momentum was lost in the TVT records debacle seems to have been regained with their new single “Angel Eyes” and its accompanying video. Chris Motionless, from the band Motionless in White, lends his vocal talents to the track, diversifying the song during the breakdown portion. “When it came time to need a guy to guest vocal on the album, there was no better fit than Chris,” says Costello. “I always really liked what he and his band stood for. It felt very similar to myself and I felt I could relate to it.” The choice of guest vocalist was a good one, As the polished song benefits from his inclusion and the transition to his vocals seems natural.
“I’ve been out to prove something since the day I was born – revenge,” Costello says, and it certainly shows over the X amount of tracks laced with anger and passion. Victim to Villain shows the band planting their flag in the rock and roll landscape, triumphantly announcing their return and getting their long sought after revenge.