With the single Love Like having already teased and lit up our senses a few weeks back it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album of Australian band Valentiine had a real hunger to it, especially after the unveiling of the brilliant new single Chucky in the past few days. The self-titled release has now stepped forward to not only live up to the suggestiveness of the pair of aural temptresses posing as singles but elevated the trio to one of the most thrilling and still richly promising bands to emerge this year. It is a predator of an album that toys with and manipulates the passions for a riotous and magnetic flame of bruising seduction.
Hailing from Melbourne, the threesome of Vanessa V (guitar/vocals), Erica E (bass/vocals), and Shelly K (drums/vocals) have a sound which is to simplify things a blend of garage rock and punk. Direct and emotively intrusive it also has a grunge seeded melodic fire which sears senses and thoughts whilst rhythmic badgering deviously diverts the attention. It is a sound which has a strong familiarity but equally lays a distinct hand on the passions directly bred from the band. Since forming Valentiine has not only left their homeland enamoured but persuaded fans across Europe and the UK with their powerful and contagious sounds. A successful 22 date European tour last year was followed by the band signing with UK independent, Integrity Records (Million Dead, Reuben, Katastrophy Wife), the two singles and now album a following potent step towards world domination one suspects.
Imagine a mix of The Breeders, Spinnerette, and Veruca Salt with a healthy snarl of L7 as well as a strong pop imagination, and you get a strong impression of what Valentiine ignite the passions with. As mentioned it is a sound which has a welcoming familiarity but infuses it into their singular potent invention musically and lyrically. The songs hold narratives of everyday life and situations, honestly and often starkly presented with a dark mischievousness, and all veined with addiction causing hooks and infection sparking enterprise which is impossible to resist.
Love Like opens up the encounter, the track an even paced roam through the ear with intimidation and steel to its riveting presence. Rhythmic sinews cage the senses as the guitar unleashes sonic fire, the combination gripping attention as the excellent and varied vocals of Vanessa V coax further with a mix of riled attitude and melodic seduction. It is an outstanding introduction to the album, a caustic caress seeded in fire borne intensity and a song that secures instant attraction, though it is soon surpassed by new single Chucky. Recounting the ladies own ‘morning after’ hangover blues in graphic detail, the track first teases with guitar and vocals before stomping into a fascination of bubble gum pop and shadow clad punk ‘n’ roll. It is ridiculously addictive; its easy yet perfectly honed enticement a blend of Green Day and The Shangri-Las which leads the listener into an insatiable dance of rhythmic temptation and pop punk wantonness.
Now into the stride of the release it begins to stretch out its darker tones and imaginative ingenuity, both Birthday and Finch opening new diversity to songwriting and sound. The first is a slow burner with the grunge growl of a Nirvana or Hole, its lingering and building intensity a dramatic smack across the senses, whilst the second tenderises with a sonic niggle and drum battering within restrained emotive incitement and sirenesque cheerleader like sultry harmonies. Both are again rich and drama clad musical treats though they do have to surrender to the even greater triumphs of firstly the smouldering When You Want, a track with a more than loud Pixies whisper to its inventive crawl, and secondly the venomous Hates Me. This track is pure L7 meets Puddle Of Mudd filtered through a malevolently spiced vat of spiteful punk, its bite dangerous but alluring with epidemic charm.
As the musicianship and imagination of the band conjures more insatiable devilment and virulent enticements it is impossible not to fall for the call of the album, though when it continues to offer such glories as the scintillating Never Forget You and its twisting metallic tentacles of guitar and bass entrapment, and the rapacious and brilliant Animal, submission was always a done deal.
As the variation and thrills keep coming with further major highlights coming from the Pixiesque Better For Me and the gnarly Kick It, the album stakes its claim as on of the most impressive releases this year. Every song leaves a lingering branding on the passions and thoughts whilst satisfaction and entertainment are delivered aural manner by the twelve, it has to be said, brilliant triumphs. Valentiine will be a major band, no doubts, and their debut album destined for the classic shelf.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from