Posts Tagged ‘Magic Bullet Records’

It takes all of 10 seconds on furious opener ‘Dr Pengle Is There’ for this Italian outfit to introduce themselves as a totally different proposition altogether.  Concocting a huge, melting pot sound Valerian Swing skip through genre boundaries with reckless abandon.  The ramped-up production courtesy of Matt Bayles (of Mastodon and Isis infamy) adds an extra dimension too, with this quintet psychotically blazing through math-rock, jazz, metal, post-rock and wild prog styles, sometimes in the space of half a minute.  There’s brass instrumentation (‘Dr Pengle..’), there’s swooning orchestration ( ‘A Sea In Your Divine Fast’), acoustic guitar on ‘How Far?’, there’s brooding electronica (‘Nothing But A Sailor Lost Around The Heart’) and there’s even manic Dilinger Escape Plan style breakdowns on the incessant ‘Hypnagogic Hallucination? Sound In The Void’

Though it doesn’t always work, such as the radio-friendly electro groove on ‘The Decent Man’ which is more filler than killer, when it does succeed this band are something special.  Case in point is the mesmeric ‘Pleng’ who’s driving bass, manic guitar and skywards hooks will have you head-banging uncontrollably in no time.  ‘Silent Last Century’, meanwhile, taps into the world of King Crimson, before moving onto a more sedate terrain where their excellent musicianship particularly comes to the fore, then veers off into yet another rampant tangent.

Perhaps Valerian Swing throw too much into ‘A Sailor’s…’ 40 minute running time and there’s a possible argument that the several styles on display here enforces a lack cohesion over the course of the album.  On occasions, it would seem this record is the work of several bands, even in the course of a single track, the pace can be relentless and there’s little respite at times, especially when you really do need to pause for breath.  However, can we actually criticise a band that are so obviously talented and so willing to surrender to eclecticism?  In my book, the answer is a resounding no!.  I want more of the same, please!

You can buy this record for $6 on CD via Magic Bullet or order the deluxe vinyl version from Subsuburban, which is exactly what I did.

VALERIAN SWING is a fantastic and exciting trio of bright young musicians hailing from Correggio in Italy. The band has been around since 2005, when the members were merely teenagers. In that time, they have toured multiple countries, honing an extraordinarily dynamic, frenetic, and highly musical brand of sonic madness to a signature level that is uniquely its own.In July 2010, the three friends entered Matt Bayles’ (MASTODON, ISIS, BOTCH) Red Room Recording in Seattle, WA to track songs for what they were intending to be a full length record. Upon completion, they send out CD-R’s of the recording to record labels that they suspected they might fit in well with. It took all of 3 minutes tops for Magic Bullet Records to know that we simply must put the album out and share this great band with anyone willing to listen. The same recording we first heard back at the end of 2010 has become what is now known as A Sailor Lost Around the Earth, which sees release worldwide on April 12, 2011.