- Worm Teeth
- Of Earth and Moon
- Laser Vision intermission
- Within the Glare
- The Message is Get Down
- The Sleeping Sand
- Centaur Rodeo
Release Date: March 30, 2014
Label: Fuzzorama Records
Valley of the Sun’s new album Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 28th 2014, FINALLY! Valley of the Sun, unsigned at the time it had originally scheduled its fall 2013 release for this album, aired a single titled “Gunslinger” on Bandcamp, which got a lot of hype and had a lot of us waiting for the remainder of the album to be released sooner. However, because of a record deal with Fuzzorama Records and a European tour with Truckfighters that kicked off in early February this year, the release date was postponed until now. On top of that, it’s been well over two years since their last EP release in June 2011, titled The Sayings of the Seers. That album, one of my all-time favorite EP’s, received extremely good reviews which just adds to the anticipation for this new album. Prior to that, in 2010, Valley of the Sun released their first EP titled, Two Thousand Ten. So it’s been a long time coming for this release and I can say without a doubt, it is well worth the wait.
The album, with ten tracks coming in at about 44 minutes total, is the crème de la crème of Valley of the Suns discography so far, surpassing my expectations to produce an album as good if not better than its predecessor, The Sayings of the Seers. In the first track (“Worn Teeth”) we get an intro that starts out like something you’d possibly hear at a hoedown with foot stompin’ and hand clappin’ along with some low-amplified vocals that got me wondering….where the hell is this going? Yeehaw? ;-) But about 2 minutes into the song they explode out of the gates with a riff heavy vibe that sets the pace for this album to unleash its mighty riff driven thunder! From there its a constant flow of energetic hard rock grooves with amazing Garcia-esque vocals by Ryan Ferrier who shows off his pipes in every track with confidence & control. Within the first few tracks I notice standout drumming, especially towards the middle of track two, “As Earth and Moon," where the rhythm takes on an almost tribal drum beat which adds a cool vibe to this track. Aaron Boyer’s fills and rolls are delivered with kick ass power throughout this entire album which keeps it burning at a high octane level, although they do slow down the tempo with the song titled "Laser Vision Intermission” which is a nice little acoustic instrumental number that shows off their amazing vocal harmony.
The remainder of the tracks jump right back into powerful riffs done to perfection by Ferrier’s thick, but never overdone guitar tone. The hooks are brilliant, each track having something unique about them with catchy melodies. I gotta mention the bass player Ryan McAllister. I have a thing for bass-heavy music that gives my sub-woofers a workout and McAllister has his moments on the album by giving it a good ole’ bass plucking and slapping here and there like in the track “Within the Glare" that highlights his bass playing and gets my subs thumping.
Finally, I am not sure how the whole process works with recording, mixing and producing, but it shows that there was some great thought put into this album so it would feel like every track is where it should be on the album, making it flow effortlessly. This is some good songwriting and I want to listen to it over & over. I want to say this is the best album I’ve heard so far this year, but I am afraid that I am being a little overly enthusiastic because I’ve been waiting for this album for so long and after listening to it, I think it’s terrific. But seriously, after listening to it over & over, I can’t fault it….this IS one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.
Bottom line….prior the this album, Valley of the Sun released two very good EP’s that got great reviews and our attention to take note and listen. If Valley of the Sun wanted to deliver their first full length debut Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk with the intention of making a unforgettable impression on the world of rock music, in my opinion, they did exactly what they set out to do. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing what else is to come from this talented trio! - LoveAmongRuins (DoomedAndStoned.com March 27, 2014)