Supergroups don’t make much of an impact these days, often releasing underwhelming or confusing collaborations long after the hype has ended. Minor Victories, however, bucked that trend last year with their self-titled debut, arguably the best post-rock album of 2016. The band, which consists of members from Mogwai, Editors and Slowdive, have followed this up with a re-imagined version of the record – Orchestral Variations.
Scattered Ashes, originally an anthemic rock song, is stripped down to a solo piano with chiming octave melodies under a heavy reverb, before brash chords crash in and create an arresting ending, while For You Always has a similar feel with Keane-like piano work and subtle harmonies added later.
The piano remains prominent in every song, often giving way to sweeping string arrangements, such as the ethereal wash of The Thief, and the intense crescendo of closer Out To Sea.
Percussion also plays a major role, most notably in Breaking My Light and Give Up The Ghost.
At almost an hour long, some may find Orchestral Variations repetitive and formulaic at times, but Minor Victories have created an introverted counterpart to the monumental original.