Album Review – Valleys: “Stoner” EP


The cover of Valleys’ newest release, Stoner EP, is well suited to the mood of this three song spell: an image of tainted youth in the form of a young girl painted with Day of the Dead-like makeup. The music is dark and eerie, almost Wiccan, while retaining some sweetness with the celestial, soothing female vocals best showcased on “Ordinary Dream.”

As with the other songs on the EP, the soft vocals are offset by aggressive guitar and drums made jagged by the fuzzy feedback and reverb. This track is appropriately titled as it is deliciously dreamlike with lyrics like “your eyes are steadfast” that melt into the song.

“Ten Thousand Hours” begins with rumbling drums and a steady keyboard line that leads into static and noise as the introduction to the screaming of upset male vocals. In comes a feedback solo that seriously lasts several minutes, during which the mind wanders from the song until it is lured back in by the keyboard and reminded that there is actual music here. As soon as that happens, the song has come to an end.

“The Cold Cold Skinny” starts with ominous xylophone and girl and guy voices singing in unison, with a regimented rhythm that sounds like a chant. Distressed electric guitar in conjunction with shrill, tense keys becomes a recipe for a scene in a horror film, made even moreso with the creepy lyric “Walk into the evening with your cold, cold skinny legs.”

These three songs strategically serve as a tease or a taste, rather, to what this band may be all about, but more must be heard to discover what that really is. From Stoner EP, we get experimental rock, sultry feminine vocals and lyrics with cryptic imagery.

NYC Weekly Show Roundup!

The Magic Kids Photo via finestkiss.wordpress.com

Oh Land, ARMS, The Canon Logic, Fatty Acid, Courtesy Tier @ Brooklyn Bowl

Superhuman Happiness, Blast Off!!! @ Coco 66

Dinosaur Feathers @ Brooklyn Bowl

Yukon Blonde, Motel Motel @ Cake Shop

One Eskimo, Hugo, A Million Years @ Highline Ballroom

Jonsi, Mountain Man @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Yukon Blonde, Motel Motel @ Maxwell’s

Deer Tick, J Roddy Waltson & the Business, Jason Anderson @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Hooray for Earth, Milagres, Slow Animal, Ghastly City Sleep, Appomattox @ Pianos

Roky Erickson, The A-Bones @ The Bell House

Favourite Sons, Steve Gunn, Don Stahl @ Union Pool

Toots & the Maytals @ Brooklyn Bowl

Grandchilden, Warm Ghost, Valleys, Foxes in Fiction, The Antlers (DJ Set) @ Glasslands

The 1900’s, The Light Pines @ Mercury Lounge (early show)

Tunng, Charles Atlas @ Mercury Lounge (late show)

Man…or Astroman? @ Bowery Ballroom

The Black Hollies, Strangers Family Band, The Runaway Suns, Super Vacations @ Bruar Falls

Blank Dogs, Velvet Davenport, Swimsuit, Dead Gaze @ Glasslands

Roky Erickson, The Above, The Happen-ins @ Maxewell’s

Magic Kids,  Bosco Delrey, Big Trouble @ Mercury Lounge

Shearwater, Damien Jurado, Anni Rossi @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Caveman, Beresford, Hotchacha, Apollo Run @ Pianos

Northampton Woods (Thurston Moore/Bill Nace/Chris Corsano), Sightings @ The Rock Shop