Seattle band VLLY – who feature Peter Sumic from the rather fabulous Forest Ray, whose album Musical Witchcraft should be on everyone who has even a passing interest in retro-sounding garage psych’s playlist – has released their first single, a two-track 7” EP that will delight as many as it will confound.
The lead track, Seedling opens as though we’re listening to Foo Fighters rehearsing two different songs at once; fractured but surprisingly engaging. After that, there’s a distortion-filled breakdown and then we’re into the song proper – and what a cracker it is. Imagine early Nirvana if it was recorded in 1972. Brilliantly driving with vocals that are buried just enough that they don’t become the main focus of the tune.
Flipside track Sycamore is a mammoth eight-and-half minute musical odyssey (or, indeed, oddity) that brings to mind The Smashing Pumpkins in a raw form – minus the whiny vocal, of course. Once again, the vocals are placed so that they are merely another instrument rather than the primary prominence, and it’s all the better for it. It’s raw but surprisingly engaging; as though Sonic Youth and Pixies sacked their producer and just recorded a rehearsal.
VLLY (pronounced Valley) is worth watching out for. They are a band with a genuine interest in ‘keeping it real’; recording on 8-track analogue decks and keeping the garage spirit of punk alive. Without overproducing the music, it sounds fresh and immediate and should appeal to anyone looking for something outside the prefabricated norm.