Victims of Circumstance
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Victims of Circumstance

Tampa, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Tampa, Florida, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Alternative Ska

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"VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCE - NO MORE HEROES"

With an unrelenting energy that's lasted a decade to date, Florida Ska Punks Victims Of Circumstance return this year with their fourth album of hectic horn-driven revelry. Melding Cheeky lyrics, catchy pop hooks and some mean saxophone melodies, the record's hyperactive nature echoes acts like Big D and the Kids Table, with highlights including "Ska Punk Girl" and "First World Problems". The infectious tunes on "NO MORE HEROES" are guaranteed to get you skanking. - TOM WILLIAMS - BIG CHEESE MAGAZINE - UK


"No More Heroes Review"

5/5 Stars

Floridian ska-punk veterans Victims Of Circumstance are back with a new release – their fourth full-length album entitled "No More Heroes" – and my god, is it a beast!!

Picking things up right where their last record Acupunkture left off, No More Heroes delivers even more of the catchy, fast-paced, horn-driven punk many have grown to expect from Victims Of Circumstance. And as always, there are a few bouncy ska songs thrown in for good measure. - Dyingscene.com


"VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCE - "NO MORE HEROES""

There's no denying that as soon as the uplifting opener "Twenty One" blasts out of your speakers, with horns and gritty vocals that come across like Less Than Jake and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, that "No More Heroes" is a summer album. Following on from their last record, "Acupunkture", with some bouncy ska thrown in the mix of the fast-paced melodic stompers, tracks like the energetic "MPYM", catchy upstrokes- filled "Katie and highlight "Arbitor of Bad Taste" prove why Victims of Circumstance are worthy of your love. "No More Heroes" is a perfect slice of good time pop/ska punk. For a refreshing dose of summery punk from the Sunshine State, make sure to catch Victims Of Circumstance at Rebellion. - JOHN TRUMAN - VIVE LE ROCK MAGAZINE - UK


"Victims Of Circumstance - ACUPUNKTURE"

"I can honestly say that “Acupunkture” is probably one of my top three favorite punk/ska records of all time. For me, it’s right up there with Less Than Jake’s “Hello Rockview” and The Suicide Machines’ “Destruction By Definition.” I give it five out of five stars without a doubt in my mind." - DyingScene.com


"Victims Of Circumstance - "ACUPUNKTURE""

“This album is great. Stands with the best in the genre’. With three excellent albums these guys are the best kept secret in ska/punk. ‘Acupunkture’ is a great sounding album. The band rocks and the horns take it to the next level, this is not your same old ska/core. The songs have great lyrics and are about something. You can tell these guys are passionate about their music and their message.”



- Tim Burton - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones


"Victims of Circumstance - PunkNews.org review"

This is the part in the review where I’m supposed to denounce the use of sex in marketing and deny that the cover art had anything at all to do with why I picked up this particular CD in a mail bin of 100 others down at the station. But my New Year’s resolution was to quit lying, so I’ll make no such claims. Anyways…

Victims of Circumstance is a three-piece ska-punk act out of Clearwater, Florida who managed to wrangle Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones into producing their debut LP, the aptly titled Do It Yourself, released by the band’s own Financial Records. And along with scoring Burton to produce the album, VOC were also given the opportunity to join the Bosstones onstage for their annual Hometown Throwdown, along with Big D and the Kids Table and the Pietasters.

So if there’s anything to be said from initial impressions -- and this is pre-listening, mind you -- Victims of Circumstance are off to a pretty good start. Not much changes when it’s time to hit play, and the garagey riffs of “My Fate” crackle through the speakers. Granted, it’s kind of an odd choice for a first song, as it’s neither their best nor does it really epitomize what’s to be expected in Do It Yourself. However, by the next track, complete with a perky upstroke lead and auxiliary horns, the impulsion to skank has made its presence known. For the next couple songs, the band gets a little sketchy, driving one song down Social Distortion lane (this is foreshadowing), while “Do Nothing (So Everyone Knows You Mean Business)” relates through an awkwardly placed whoa-along á la Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn.” But it doesn’t take long for VOC to get back in stride, as “Me and Alex P. Keaton” is both catchy and clever, as lead singer Mike Smyth asserts: “Calling soccer moms and NASCAR dads / To save the freedom land / We’ll watch and believe everything we see / Reported on Fox TV / And we’ll rally behind Bill O’Reilly / Against anyone who disagrees.”

While it’s hard not to discriminate against the majority of songs that don’t have horns, the trombone (provided by Van Battle) and saxophone (courtesy of the aforementioned Burton) really add something to the songs where they’re included. The best of these is the three-minute power-ska “Legacy,” which yo-yos between horn-driven punk and upbeat ska. “The Distance” follows suit, with a couple cool licks from Burton’s sax and a start-and-stop guitar part the band pulls off pretty well. To wrap things up, the album’s “bonus track” is a ska-punk cover of Social Distortion’s “Ball and Chain.” And while I can’t go so far to say that it’s as good as the original, it certainly isn’t butchered the way Reel Big Fish massacred “Story of My Life.”

Like track 3 of Do It Yourself, this album is “Just Fine,” and while it may show a band in the midst of a musical maturity process, Victims of Circumstance have put themselves in a surprisingly good position early with just one album under their belt.

- punknews.org


"Bring On Mixed Reviews - "Roll The Dice" Review"

It seems there is always something to a name. Florida natives, Victims Of Circumstance, know this all to well as two of their founding members were stuck working at a debt settlement company. Through the circumstance of needing money and working any job to get it however, Michael Smyth (guitarist) and Glenn Stewart (drummer) were able to lay the foundation of the bands first album “Do It Yourself” and their latest record “Roll The Dice.” And after inspection, Victims of Circumstance, while technically labeled a ska band, actually has their very own way of doing things outside the regular, ska-punk box.
I mean yes, this energetic five piece does have a trombonist and sax player, and their seamless integration of traditional punk is usually cause for a ska labeling, but “Roll The Dice” has a way of surprising you. First off, instead of completely carefree lyrics and themes that litter most ska records, this album features clever tongue in cheek lyrics that can not only make you laugh, but also contemplate. Also with their last record, Tim Burton (Mighty Mighty Bosstones) helped produce, but this time around Steve Foote (Big D And The Kids Table) took the reigns and made the record a bit less old school, drowning in brass, ska; and more modern punk-infused ska.
There is a ton of up-strum islander riffage to help fill out the brass centric tracks, while you do your fair share of skanking with your reggae brethren. Another welcome change came from songs like “5th Column” which sport actual guitar solos of sorts (unheard of in ska). And while Michael Smyth’s thick vocals are par for the ska course, they feel really grody after a while and become bothersome. I should also mention that ska isn’t exactly my favorite music to play on the regular, but Victims Of Circumstance, have helped the genre show up more on my “most listened” list.
“Roll The Dice” is all around better than their previous release. It has a more punk flavor to it, so instead of just carefree ska subjects, we also get a few cheeky lyrics from the group. The step backward from intensive ska is what makes this record better in my opinion and it does still feature all the sax and trombone you can handle in one sitting. So if you need a band that stands with one leg in both ska and punk, then Victims Of Circumstance is perfect for that. ~Staff

Score: 3.5/5 - Bring on Mixed Reviews


"Enoch Magazine - Sophomore Album Review"

If Less than Jake, Reel Big Fish, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones got in the ring for an old school WWF Royal Rumble it would be a Punk Ska Furry. After chairs broken, fists thrown, and bloody noses only a few would remain. If you took those few and made a band then Victims of Circumstance is what you’d get. Produced by Steve Foote of Big D and the Kid’s Table, the album, Roll the Dice, brings that Punk Ska you’ve been waiting for since 1999. With the opening note to the final finish Victims of Circumstance has truly produced a masterpiece.

The first track, The Final Flight of D.B. Cooper, draws me in. The vocals of the chorus take me back to my senior year of high school. I love the horn intro that starts off that slowly lays way to a punk rock anthem. This is actually my favorite track on the album. It’s interesting to note that Victims of Circumstance first began practicing in Glen Stewart’s (drums/vocals) office after everyone went home. The song, This Used to be a Riot gets me off my feet and shankin’ in my living room. It’s the perfect groove to play at a party to get the room going. The talent of the horn players on Number One Hit Single, lets a listener know that these boys are not messing around. With a song like this Victims of Circumstance could bring back ska to the mainstream listener. The guitar solo is a great lick to play air guitar to. The lyrics of Get Out paint a vivid picture of a high school kid whose parents are out of town. I can remember those days of having an entire house to yourself and the first thing you did was get all your friends over for a little chaos

Victims of Circumstance Rock!! It seems good punk ska records are far and few between. With the punk/ska of the 90’s long gone its great to see new bands uniting with the old ones as they try and bring it back. - Enoch Mag


""Do it Yourself" Reviewed at NeuFutur"

Victims of Circumstance – Do It Yourself / 2007 Financial / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/victimsofcircumstance /

Victims of Circumstance play a blend of ska/punk that has not really been heard much since the late years of the nineties. This means that the act blends together equal parts The Vandals and Less Than Jake. Despite the fact that the band plays a style of music that is not that common anymore, they are able to imbue each of the tracks on “Do It Yourself” with energy and momentum that will keep people listening now interested.

A track like “The Distance” is able to approach a number of musical styles while still keeping the band’s unique sound in clear view. This means that there is a heavy horn influence to the track (think the Voodoo Glow Skulls and The Pietasters) but also a surf meets goth type of tinge at the periphery of the track (early Cure, The Cramps). The inclusion of a synth melds all constituent pieces of the track together and adds another (The Network) influence to the mix. The disc’s stand out track comes in “Me and Alex P. Keaton”. The slower, more laid-back approach to the track shows that Victims of Circumstance can get down at points with reggae records, but the slightly nasal approach of the vocals screams Fat Mike / “War On Error-ism”-era noFX to me. The humor present in the track is very dry and oblique at points, obscured just enough to allow the track to be played easily on rock rotation. While this is Victims of Circumstance’s debut album, the ability of the act to put together tracks in a way that will bring new fans in by the barrelful is at a level that few established acts can achieve.

Most bands are not able to put together 13 tracks without having three or four “chaff” songs; Victims of Circumstance are able to lay down cut after cut that builds up the disc and continues the band hurtling towards the end. Another impressive track during “Do It Yourself” is “My Fate”. During this track, the band drops much of the ska influence to make a stripped-out, classic brand of punk rock track. The nearest approximation would be songs from the last Social Distortion album, but Victims of Circumstance are able to layer the guitar in a way that is memorable long after the disc stops. The band has a long career ahead of them; this is one of the strongest punk debuts that I’ve heard in the last few years.

Top Tracks: My Fate, Just Fine

Rating: 7.0/10 - NeuFutur Magazine


"VOC"

(This) band takes the traditional sounds of punk and ska, throws them in a blender and comes out with an explosive sound that made me want to start a mosh pit. - Tampa Bay Informer


Discography

2007 - Victims Of Circumstance - 3 Song EP

2007 - Do It Yourself - Debut Full Length CD - Produced by Tim Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
2009 - Roll The Dice - Sophomore Full Length CD - Produced By Steve Foote- Big D and the Kids Table
2011 - Live In Japan - First Full Length Live Album

2011 - Acupunkture - 3rd Full Length CD

2012 - Decades - Volume #1 - 6 Song Cover EP

2014 - No More Heroes - 4th Full Length CD

2017 - Decades - Volume #2 - 9 Song Cover EP

2020 - "FIVE" - 5th Full Length Original Album


Photos

Bio

Founded in 2005 in Clearwater, Florida, Victims of Circumstance is a punk-ska band known for blending pop-hooks with a unique style of ska. The current line-up includes band members: Michael Smyth (vocals & guitar), Glenn Stewart (drums), Lindsey Pittard (bass), Jason Atheney (saxophone), and Devin Johnson (trumpet).

The VOC, as they are known by fans, built a loyal following while playing around their home state of Florida before setting out on a tour that ended with an invitation to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones tenth Hometown Throwdown in Boston, MA in 2007. Victims of Circumstance has performed with numerous national acts including Less Than Jake, Big D & the Kids Table, The Pietasters, The Aquabats, Mustard Plug, Whole Wheat Bread, The Toasters and many others.

In 2007 they tapped The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' saxophone player and skacore veteran Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton to produce their first full-length album, Do It Yourself. At the end of 2008, Steve Foote of Big D and the Kids Table produced their second album, Roll the Dice, released in 2009.

In early 2011, the VOC flew to Japan and recorded their first live album, 2011's Live in Japan.

After returning from their first 3 week European Tour in the summer of 2011, The VOC released their self produced album Acupunkture and received rave reviews such as - "This album is Great!. It stands up with the best in the genre." - Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

In July and August 2012 the VOC completed another successful 3 week European tour which included playing at the world's biggest Punk Rock Festival, "Rebellion", in Blackpool UK. The VOC also provided support on their tour for bands such as MXPX, Snuff and the Creepshow.

In the fall of 2012 the band recorded a six song EP of cover tunes. The album, titled Decades, featured one song from each decade from the '50s through the 2000's. Including an all out Punk and Ska version of UK Boy Band One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful".  Following that release, VOC returned to the studio to write and record their fourth studio album, No More Heroes.

In the summer of 2014 Victims of Circumstance released their fourth studio album No More Heroes and provided support for bands such as Streetlight Manifesto and The Dropkick Murphys.  One reviewer noted that the new album "delivers even more of the catchy, fast-paced, horn-driven punk many have grown to expect from Victims Of Circumstance. And as always, there are a few bouncy ska songs thrown in for good measure." Online punk news organization, Dying Scene, selected No More Heroes as their top pick for best punk-ska album of 2014.

During 2015, VOC continued to tour in support of the new album.  During the summer they completed their third - 3 week European tour to help celebrate their 10th anniversary.  In 2016, VOC continued to play around the southeast and also recorded the follow up to their highly successful 2012 release "Decades".  Decades Vol. #2 was released in the Spring of 2017 and received heavy airplay across the US on College, and Internet radio stations.  VOC continued to tour and play shows in 2018 while also working on songs for their 5th all original studio album to be released in January 2020.













Band Members