For nearly ten years, lead singer/guitarist Tom Cochrane
had led the band Red Rider
as they delivered their melodic, north-of-the-border take on American, heartland rock. The 1999 release Victory Day
is a fairly good representation of the quintet. Driving rockers like the title track and "Calling America" are mixed with more stripped-down cuts like "Good Times." Cochrane
gives voice to his often socially conscious lyrics in a voice that is effective when he belts them out or delivers them in more hushed tones. The songs are consistently engaging, if occasionally pedestrian. However, most of Victory Day
is better-than-average '80s AO, and, as usual, the band does include one gem with "Big League." Based on a true story, it tells the tragic tale of a promising hockey player (and Red Rider
fan) who was killed in a car accident. Its thought-provoking lyric and the band's bracing performance managed to click well enough to make it a minor radio hit.