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.