16/09/2015 – Valley-Picture Puzzle Pattern Door (2015)

Valley’s sound has changed quite a bit from their humble beginnings, now they craft a positive post-rock, not an easy thing; that conjures up Sigur Ros or Mogwai making unadulterated pop. The melodies are so slick that they ooze out of your speakers like molasses.

 

 

Opening track Tunguska slowly builds during its seven and a half minutes without ever over staying its welcome and when it slowly drifts out you have trouble believing it was so long. Kiro follows on with the less is more vibe, by never really getting out of third gear, but somehow managing to create tension and drama through limited elements. After the exquisite start, Dream Shooter, Golden! is a slight let down. The droney siren at the beginning grates more than it should and the guitar work if fine, but doesn’t really go anywhere. All through the song you’re hoping for an exceptional peak, but it never quite happens and ultimately it feels like a wasted opportunity.

 

 

However, Picture Puzzle Pattern Door is the stand out track on the EP. At just over ten minutes long its takes its time getting going. Crickets let us know that dusk is upon us, and this gives the music a slightly sinister feel, imagine an cover from Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack, but given a slightly ambient euphoric twist. PPPD twists and drifts along nicely, but it’s about the three minute mark when things really start to get going. The music takes on a slightly harder tone and a vocal sample kicks in. This subtle added level of texture, the juxtaposition of vocals and tension building drums and guitar really makes PPPD end on a high.

 

 

What makes the EP better is looking at the cover while listening to it. The opening notes of Tunguska make perfectly with the image of the sun just poking out of the bottom corner of the valley, see what they did there, to the closing spoken word outro of Picture Puzzle Pattern Door. Whilst listening to the EP you feel that the sun and shadows are moving as Sunburst progresses. There are elements of hope and redemption that makes this not only an enjoyable, but uplifting listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 comments
  1. Trudy said:

    The music player wouldn’t work for me , maybe it’s my laptop?

      • Trudy said:

        I was trying to understand what you meant in your description of the music by listening to it so that made it harder to critique the writing, if you understand my meaning. But the writing itself reminds me of Rolling Stone articles, it’s good.

  2. Amar Naik said:

    i assume the advancement of quality also has to do with available of better technology/instruments

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