The Valley brings on the noise
The Valley plays Swingline Records' fifth-anniversary party at the Funhouse Saturday, Aug. 2, with the Lights and Man the Guns.
Seattle Times staff reporter
On the Internet
The Valley: www.thevalleyrules.com.
The ValleyWith the Lights and Man the Guns, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave N., Seattle; $7, 21 and up (www.thefunhouseseattle.com or 206-374-8400).
Guitar-rock band the Valley's mascot should be a cockroach. Hard, dirty and alive.
The local three-piece (Dan Beloit, vocals and guitar; Taku Mineshita, bass; Jim Laws, drums) sounds a lot like Mudhoney, a quintessential Seattle band that also represents grunge, a quintessential Seattle rock style. You remember it, no? Grunge went out of fashion years ago around these parts. Then bands like Death Cab for Cutie unintentionally drew a line in the sand: Tasteful quietness goes over here, obnoxious loudness goes over there. The quiet stuff, we'll call "indie-rock." The loud stuff, we'll ignore.
And the Valley definitely sounds like a band that has been ignored. Its bread and butter is three- and four-chord punk songs played slow, and drenched in incredible amounts of noise. The noise is from Beloit's guitar, and it's funny reading critics trying to describe it. "Fuzzed-out" and "scuzzy" are overused favorites. Mostly what it is is willfully nasty and way too loud. "How loud can a guitar actually be?" the Valley wonders. An adolescent question, sure, but their answer is honed and practiced. The loudness and simplicity of the Valley are stuck-by guns.
And the Valley plays in roach clubs, too, looking most at home in dirty dive bars like the Comet on Capitol Hill or the Funhouse by the Space Needle, places where everyone wears Chuck Taylors and it's not a big deal if you spill a beer on the floor. These venues are part of Seattle's rock soul, places where it's OK to be bratty, amateurish, experimental and noisy as all hell. No matter how hard you scrub, they'll never be clean. It's not a fault, but a style.
It's determined dirtiness. It's the Valley.
Andrew Matson: 206-464-2153
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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