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Group Members: Christina Files
All Music Guide:
Vocalist/guitarist Mona Elliott, bassist Mel Lederman, and drummer Christina Files started Victory at Sea in 1996 out of what Elliott refers to as "feelings of rock that were unable to be controlled." Elliott had previously played in noise rock outfit Spore, Lederman in indie rock band Sugar Bitch, and Files in space rock group the Swirlies. Together, they took cues from slowcore bands like Codeine and Shipping News and shaped aspects of those bands into their own tossing and turning style. After playing around the Boston area in early 1996, Victory at Sea cut their debut single, Snow, for Villa Villakula records. While the band was touring with groups such as June of 44, they ended up performing many shows in Baltimore, MD. Files had attended Berklee in Boston with Adam Cooke, a drummer for Baltimore band Science Kit. The two groups wound up playing shows together. Jeffrey Alexander, who was a member of Science Kit, was also the owner of the Magic Eye Singles imprint. He liked Victory at Sea and asked them to cut a single for the label. Victory at Sea agreed, and in January 1998, the band released their second single. Victory at Sea was never actually signed to Magic Eye Singles, due to the fact that the label made it a point not to have an actual roster of groups. Instead, Alexander only released records by bands that he liked. Victory at Sea returned to Villa Villakula to record their five-song EP Easier Than Living in 1999. Dischord caught wind of the trio and signed them to their subsidiary Slowdime later that year. The band immediately recorded and released their first full-length The Dark Is Just the Night that September. At the beginning of 2000, Files left Victory at Sea and was replaced by Fin Moore, who had formerly played drums for Boston groups Robots and Pizza. A short tour opening up for Shipping News followed Moore's entrance into the group. Shortly thereafter, Kimchee Records' co-owner Andy Hong, who was scheduled to record Victory at Sea's second full-length, approached them about doing a joint tour with Kimchee Records band Helms. Victory at Sea agreed to the tour, and a split EP was recorded with Helms to promote the outing. The bleak but engaging Carousel arrived in 2001, signaling a change in their songwriting that emphasized their increasingly better melodies. After Carl Eklof became their new drummer, the band followed that effort with The Good Night in 2002. Victory at Sea found a new home at Gern Blandsten, who released Memories Fade in fall of 2004.
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