Another week has passed without any good Aussie bands coming to my attention, by good I mean not Hip-Hop or Homo whinge rock and, as ever, I am open to suggestions from readers on bands I should know about.
I have, however, discovered a cracking outfit from the states called Valley Of The Sun about whom I have been able to discover little besides the facts that they formed in Ohio from the remnants of Blacklight Barbarian, they recently toured Europe and the bassist also plays in Kentucky doom/stoner band Moonbow.
We really need a new term for this type of music, stoner and doom do not really do it justice since there are many other elements besides; perhaps “Heavy Hippy” or “Deep Grunge” would suffice?
The hippy-dip themes are strong on the new album Old Gods, in terms of style Valley Of The Sun are somewhere on the same astral plane as Germany’s Samsara Blues Experiment in their quieter moments and Kadavar at full throttle, with a mid-tempo median which brings to mind Fu Manchu and Orange Goblin.
The lead singer, Ryan Ferrier, can carry a range of vocal styles from Kurt Cobain’s junkie mumblings, or an Eddie Vedder yodel to a sound we would suppose you’d get by strapping Robert Plant to the nose of a jet fighter and booting it past the sound barrier.
The lyrics are clever and there is remarkable consistency throughout the three Valley Of The Sun albums, my favourite tracks would have to be the epic Riding The Dunes from the 2011 EP The Sayings Of the Seers and All We Are, from their most recent release.
This is a band of superb musicians who are advancing the stoner rock genre and pushing into new sonic territory for heavy music.