DEATH VALLEY CLUB
Yay, more French Hardcore has arrived on my mp3 player. For once, this isn't sarcasm; I truly love this scene at the moment - it's yet to be ruined by money-chasing labels. And, once again, this is a brilliant set of songs. The opener is worth the admission price alone; it's not a chugging masterpiece, but a brooding acoustic-led vision of the pain that will follow. What is surprising is track three's hint of Queens of the Stone Age style rock and roll about it. And, of course, when I mention QOTSA I do mean their good stuff when Nick Oliveri was going bugnuts; not the watered down version Josh has left us with. Anyway, the playing is tight and groovy (a little Joey Z-alike in the guitar playing), and the production doesn't leave any nasty aftertaste. 'Spit Your Venom and Swallow Your Disdain Back' is a little wail of synth (or heavily processed guitar) replete with a monologue of some despair; with some background speeded-up chattering (which I would just love to have known what was being said). It breaks up the album in just the right place before the whole angry shebang becomes a little too much to take in. 'The Water's Noise on the Window' unfortunately drags down the interest slightly with its plodding dirge like nature. It's not a terrible song, but it is certainly hard to sit through when the dynamic up to that point had been so positively fizzing. 'Becoming Stale' has a similar pace, but (perhaps as a result of being slightly shorter) never threatens to outstay its welcome; think 'Iron Gland' from 'Dirt' and you're somewhere there. And it's up to closer 'The Walk' to send us off with a spring in our step and a groove in our hearts. Before swaggering over and threatening to beat us up and steal our lunch money.
Review by Steve Cowan
1) One Million Degrees
2) Sun as a Gift, Storm as a Punishment
3) I Am the One to be Struck Down
4) Sands in the Hollow of Our Hands
6) Buk on Phone
7) Spit Your Venom and Swallow Your Disdain Back
9) The Water's Noise on the Window
10) Becoming Stale
11) The Walk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...the playing is tight and groovy...and the production doesn't leave any nasty aftertaste."