New Year\’s Day: Victim to Villain review

\"VictimFormed in Anaheim, Calif. in 2005, New Years Day may be relatively new on the scene but they are already causing quite a stir. The band, consisting of Ashley Costello (Vocals), Russell Dixon (Drums), Anthony Barro (Bass),  Nikki Misery (Guitar), and Jake Jones (Guitar), call their music “Hauntedmansioncore,” but what it really amounts to is power pop metal and their sound is equal parts Halestorm, Paramore and No Doubt. You can really hear the influence of three aforementioned bands in both the music and Ashley Costello’s vocal delivery. From day one, the band took total control of their own future in music and through selfless promotion, posted videos on Myspace and any other social media sites. It paid off in a big way when they were selected to contribute a track to the Saint’s Row video game. That exposure, led to them being signed to TVT records. In 2006, they released the New Year’s Day EP and in 2007, they released their first full length called My Dear. The debut single, “I Was Right,” garnered them an MTVU Freshman Face Poll Award and also contained the song “Brilliant Lies” which was hands down their best song to date. The latest record, Victim to Villain, is their second full-length and first for their new label, Century Media Records and finds the band exploring new territory in terms of heaviness. While it maintains that power pop metal sensability and all those sing-along choruses, the songs are progressing in a heavier direction overall. It also sees Costello experimenting with the more gruff side of her vocal abilities. The album opens strong with “Do Your Worst,” a song with a nice galloping pace and some tasty double kick drums. The guitar riff of “I’m No Good” will remind you of Halestorm’s “Freak Like Me” while tracks like “Bloody Mary,” “Victim,” and “The Arsonist” are all great commercial hard rock with big radio-ready choruses. “Hello Darkness” sounds like it was lifted right of the latest Paramore album and “Death of the Party,” has a nice male/female vocal tradeoff that should make fans of Evanescence very happy. “Angel Eyes” is killer melodic hard rock a duet with Chris Motionless of Motionless In White; “Any Last Words” walks a fine line between sounding like Halestorm and Paramore and “Last Great Love Story” captures both the band and Costello doing their best No Doubt impression. Bottom line is this- if you like bands like Hydrogyn, Fireflight or Delain there is something on this album for all to enjoy and it’s easy to see why they were asked out on the 2012 and 2013 Vans Warped Tours. While Victim to Villain is not quite as strong as the mind blowing debut, it is a solid offering. Rating: 7/10 -Eric Hunker