After force-feeding bar and small venue crowds their boisterous live shows, The North Valley has finally released their debut full-length album, “Patterns in Retrospect,” and I couldn’t be happier. Finally I’ve met my match with an album that sounds as solid as the band live on stage.
My favorite track, hands down, is No. 2, “You Got That Straight Jake.” Maybe it’s Dane Sandberg and Spenny Relyea perfectly intertwining vocals with Relyea backing up “time won’t be your friend,” or maybe it’s the steady heartbeat of Spencer Sayer’s drumming. Either way, this song is a good premise for the rest of the album.
Rock ‘n’ roll comes easy to the quintet, and can especially be noticed on Track No. 10, “There’s Something About Murder.” This is also a favorite of mine for the screaming guitar intro, and Sandberg’s rough vocals takes the listeners to the back-alley murder scene he perfectly describes with his lyrics. Kramer McCausland’s steady keyboard helps the listener stay on track during the chorus echo, and the guitar helps the listener get lost in its solo once again. This track is nothing but pure musical poetry.
The 12-track album will keep the listener on repeat, especially because no two songs sound the same. Many rock ‘n’ roll acts have a problem with sounding stale a few songs in, but not The North Valley. Slower songs like Track No. 4, “Left For Dead,” and the following song, “Drink Alone,” sound like untainted Utah wilderness and take the listener to a cooler state of being.
The North Valley hails from Salt Lake City, and released their freshman LP earlier this month. The band headlined a show at Kilby Court on Jan. 10. The album is available on Spotify as well as their Bandcamp page, but this is one you’ll want to buy from the members after a show. Buy them a beer while you’re at it; this album is a long time coming since the band’s birth in 2011.
This album received 4.5 stars.