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VALIS / Press

“Some bands need to provide the rock and roll of the 90's for all those bands that do not make that kind of music anymore. Valis will suffice if you have been missing those days of the Seattle scene and raw, unadulterated rock and roll. This band is not trying to re-invent a genre, but continue what is already loved by millions. So for that, I recommend this album as one of the better new albums in a world where most new bands are so self-indulgent, nobody wants to rock anymore!”

“VALIS does the cosmic thunder boogie better than pretty much anybody these days. That said, though the band’s third album is named after a prominent astrophysical theory, the songs here seem tied less to galactic travel than more terrestrial and spiritual concerns. Daylight in the Swamps and Grapevine Earthquake dig into the mud, and biblical allusions drive a lot of the lyrics (Resurrection Sickness, Under Satan’s Will, Blood on Blood, Hands of Grace). But let’s face it: salvation/damnation metaphors ain’t why we listen to VALIS. We hearken to this band for its relentlessly grooving, melodically crunchy riff-rock, which has never been more potent than it is here. On top of that, Conner’s voice has gotten stronger, which is a good thing for the surprisingly pretty acoustic track Everyone Sun. I hesitate to say Dark Matter is VALIS’s best album so far, but the evidence sure seem to point in that direction. ”

“Guitarist Patrick Conner takes over the lead vocals in 'Hands of Grace' and 'Everyone Sun'. Both songs mark the most emotional moments of the album and reveal the band's fondness for old blues and folk, but I had to think of Screaming Trees because on 'Everyone Sun' Patrick Conner sounds almost like Mark Lanegan. But that's not a bad thing. 'Grapevine Earthquake' could be the result of a merging of The Beatles and Hawkwind while 'Battleship' is just as heavy as its title. And in the end there's a hidden track that is a good as the rest of the album. The album has been engineered and produced by Jack Endino, who also appears as third guitarist on 'Battleship'. Additionally, the lyrics are printed in the booklet and it is not wrong to read them, though they are printed very small. Well, 'Dark Matter' is the best VALIS album so far and if you are new to this band, here is where you should start.”

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