Valley Of The Sun’s debut album ‘Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk’ starts off mellow enough. Nice, simple, strummed chords kick off the first track, ‘Worn Teeth’. These same chords continue on after the vocals come in, creating a nice relaxed vibe, and then BOOM someone steps on the distortion pedal and its balls to the wall! This is a very effective and great way to open up a record such as ‘Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk’ because it showcases the versatile range and great songwriting by the Ohio power trio Valley Of The Sun. They go from one extreme to the other. Many bands do this, but very few pull it off as effectively as Valley Of The Sun. I mean it’s easy enough to start a song off quietly and then kick it up a few notches to get the listener’s attention, but the trick is to keep the listener’s attention throughout the whole record.
Over the 10 songs that make up ‘Electric Talons Of The Thunderhawk’ Valley Of The Sun do in fact keep your attention, actually they demand it. A strong vocal performance from guitarist/vocalist Ryan Ferrier, especially on track 5 ‘Lazer Vision Intermission’, his voice is especially strong and shows a wide range. While his vocals are reminiscent of John Garcia, they still add a distinct flavor and style all his own. Speaking of Mr. Garcia, Valley Of The Sun defiantly has a few Kyuss albums in their collections, and invoke the desert rock sound that their name suggests. In fact had I not known they were from Ohio, I would swear they were straight out of the desert. Not to suggest these guys are Kyuss clones, that is not the case at all. There are a wide range of influences shining through on this record, you will hear, rock, grunge, blues, hell there are even some funk parts! This variation makes the album all the more fun listen.
The production on this album is great! Every instrument is heard clearly, which gives a full, rich sound. Not coming across as over produced at all, or sounding compressed, the album sounds huge coming out of my speakers! This is an album to be turned up, and listened to LOUD! Complimented by such strong vocals that are out front in the mix, but not where the rest of the band sound like they are playing second fiddle. Riffs for days come at you from out of nowhere, and you cannot help but nod your head.
This is a fine statement as a debut album, which was proceeded by two EP’s, ‘Two Thousand Ten’ and ‘The Sayings Of The Seers’. Valley Of The Sun have carved a niche for themselves as stellar musicians who are rockin’ hard and loud. While their sound is very akin to the “Desert Rock” sound, they also inject a good dose of their Ohio roots giving the album a very unique feel, while still being very familiar. There is enough variety on ‘Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk’ to keep the listener interested, and they keep the songs at a pace and length that feels just right. While other bands are content to borrow freely from the Kyuss sound, Valley Of The Sun simply nod their head in appreciation and move forward. An excellent album from start to finish.
Scribed by: Jason Fincher