Travel through time with bluesy soundscapes, fuzzy guitars and cheerful organs...
It is always nice to discover a new band, especially when they make great music, and even better, have their home base in your home country. I have to admit, even as a dedicated Dutch heavy music fan, I’ve never heard of the psych blues rockers No Man’s Valley. Nevertheless, better late than never, and what better time to get into a band when they just released their debut album. After two EPs released by the band in ’12 and ’14, it was time for something bigger and better in 2016. Since 2012, they’ve ripened as a band and chose the path of heavier blues with a rough edge, instead of their more poppy and accessible EPs. You can hear more effort is put into songwriting and production. Time Travel contains 8 unique, beautifully produced songs. They’re bluesy, dark, psychedelic and accessible all at the same time. It’s time to travel.
How is the sound?
No Man’s Valley is bluesy, with influences from psych-, hard- and poprock. Time Travel takes you on a journey through the different sounds and influences that come with these genres, which makes it a versatile and interesting album. It deludes the listener with a pleasant groove, strong melodies and clean and well-executed vocals. We hear different guitar styles, clean and atmospheric like some of Graveyards songs, but also like Josh Homme’s guitar work; dark and fuzzy. The vocals by Jasper Hesselink show similarities with Jim Morrison, but just like the rest of the album, the vocals can’t be captured in just one style or sound. The use of different mics and sound effects create different vibes that go well with the range of the rest of the band, who are gifted singers as well and add another layer to the music with polyphonous oooh’s and aaah’s.
A variety of songs with a variety of sounds and influences, that’s what we know by now. ‘Sinking the Life Boat’ is one of the slower, atmospheric blues songs. Yet energetic and poppy is their most successful earlier released single ‘The Wolves Are Coming’. An accessible pop-rock song, with a cheerful organ that brings us a late 60’s The Doors sound. ‘Love or Axe Murder’ has a melancholic desert vibe to it that reminds of some of the earlier works from desert legends Queens of the Stone Age.
Atmospheric soundscapes alternating with heavier guitar violence, we can say without a doubt that the band masters the use of dynamics and composition which they cleverly use in all of their songs. I’m sure we will hear more from this band and hope this debut shows just the tip of the iceberg, with many more releases and live shows to catch.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- I think I’ve already stressed this enough but; variety and diversity
- Accessible but interesting
In what situation you should listen to this album?
Because of it’s versatile and accessible rock sound, it might be the perfect album to introduce your friends to some accessible stoner rock and the different sounds that come with this broad genre.
Something particular to note?
Recorded, produced and mixed at Sputnik Studio and released on my birthday. I wouldn’t mind if the band would send me one of their 300 limited edition coloured vinyl records as a delayed birthday present. Of course, only for reviewing and promotional purposes, definitely not for my personal listening pleasure. You can buy the record here, in beautiful clear vinyl at Nasoni Records.
Love or Axe Murder
For Fans Of
The Doors, Graveyard, Queens of the Stone Age
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