The Valley Arena is consistent in bringing out art rock
that is heavy in guitars and stays modern without sounding trendy.
The band's songs on their latest full length album Sesso Vita
sound like they were composed by the four members in the band
sitting in a room and bouncing music ideas off of each other.
The songs lack somebody coming in and saying that the songs need
to be more commercial sounding. Rather, they sound like songs
that were made from a common sense approach to guitar rock. The
band shows a deep affinity for crafting guitar movements that
exhibit beauty and strength in the instrument without being overly
indulgent. They have just the right measure of muscle without
making the music bulky, and the right amount of melodic resonance
without being wimpy. The band does not clutter their guitar riffs,
and neither do they leave them unadorned. Lead singer/guitarist
Warren Woodward and guitarist/backup vocalist Chris
Stevens interweave their creative shoops while juxtaposing
the rhythmic bass tugs of Dave South and the firm, steady
syncopation of Michael Nielsen's drumming. They work together
like brandy and rum, making a cocktail that your taste buds will
relish without your system rejecting its zinging sensations.
From the first track to the last, The Valley Arena maintains
art rock angles in their guitar licks. Each song varies in themes
from projecting dark, brooding moods to simmering off and basking
in small triumphs. The chord changes heighten the listening experience
like on "Bed," emphasizing the main points in the melodic
phrases. There is a post-punk vibe fusing the transitional changes
and melodic movements, reminiscent of the fluxing motions from
[The] Mars Volta. The artful strokes of "Kick At The
Ceiling" mast guitar indentations with phat sonic grooves,
and the feathering of guitar vibrations through "100 Rumors"
are punk rock-clad with kicking vocals from Woodward. His voice
has a profound aching that bellows deep and gets caught up in
the riptide of whirling guitar rock psychedelics in "More
Adorned." The layering of acoustic and electric guitars on
"I Was A Wrecking Ball" blasts high pitched chords that
blend with the lower decibels of hard rock making a rich melodic
mix. This track is sure to please, and if not, The Valley Arena
has "A Quiet Ending," which fumes a Beatles-esque
resonance seeping from the guitar vibrations, saving their best
tracks for last.
The Valley Arena's latest album Sesso Vita, like their
previous records, is impacted with modern guitar rock shafts.
They are a band who not only make rock oriented albums but their
entire collection of albums are rock oriented. You feel like you
are missing something without the entire set, like you've skipped
a phase from rock's music evolution. The Valley Arena shows a
genuineness and artistic flare in their music that other rock
artists can admire, but it seems to be taking audiences a bit
longer before they hear it, too. The band's catalog includes their
out of print EP Kinetic Aesthetic from 2003, their self-titled
debut full-length album in 2005, their sophomore LP Take Comfort
In Strangers, and now Sesso Vita.
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