The North Valley, Untytled 

Local CD Reviews: Patterns in Retrospect, Winter

Pin It

click to enlarge music_localcdreviews_patternsinretrospect_140116.jpg
The North Valley, Patterns in Retrospect

The North Valley’s debut full-length album, Patterns in Retrospect, perfectly captures the high energy of their raucous live show—they couldn’t have done better even if they’d recorded a late-night set at a bar and released that instead. All of the wild, raw power and fervent rock & roll attack that makes the five-piece’s shows so engaging is present in these 12 tracks, as is the band’s ability to sound unrestrained even as they’re perfectly timing a crucial breakdown. Highlights include “There’s Something About Murder,” which gets a surprisingly creepy mood out of a bouncy keyboard line and features bloodthirsty vocals that seem to teeter on the edge of sanity. “Drink Alone” is propelled forward by Spencer Sayer’s rolling drums, and the generally mellow instrumentation allows the vocal harmonies between bassist Dane Sandberg and guitarist Spenny Relyea to really shine. The album’s quieter moments—like the piano-driven “Riverside” and the wistful “Barbed Wire Tongue”—keep the track list nicely varied, and display The North Valley’s ability to deliver slower, more subdued songs just as effectively as the loud rockers. The first half of Patterns in Retrospect might question destructive vices and ways of dealing with relationships (“Doomsday Device”), but by the time the album concludes with “Rock N Roll Mamma”—about refusing to give up partying for a significant other—and “Burnin’ It Down” (it’s all in the title), The North Valley say, “To hell with it,” and grab that eighth beer.
Jan. 10, self-released,

click to enlarge music_localcdreviews_winter_140116.jpg
Untytled, Winter

The latest release from emcee Untytled is probably best listened to while driving around on a cloudy, snowy January day, which is exactly what I did. The overall feel is dark, moody and chilly, in instrumentation as well as subject matter: creative frustration, disillusionment and other places the mind tends to go during the cold months. The layered soundscape—the introduction of “Bleak Little Circuit” is beautifully desolate, and “All Alone” has some nice Gorillaz-esque atmosphere—is allowed to take the spotlight nearly as much as Untytled’s vocals, which include intellectual rhyming as well as actual singing. Things drag a bit in the second half, especially on “Moving to Portland”—the almost whiny vocals made the track tough to finish—and “New Dimension,” which just seems to meander lazily and never go anywhere very engaging. Untytled is obviously not afraid to be creative, though, and he takes several interesting jumps outside the hip-hop norm. Also, all his genre-jumping is done purposefully, and usually to add another layer of meaning to the lyrics: The metal-influenced guitar line and heavily distorted vocals on “Ro.B.O.T.” pair perfectly with lyrics about consumer culture, and with the touches of jazzy horns and the lyrics “I had to be the ultimate weaponry/ dismantle emcees and leave them swinging in the breeze” on “Ultimate Weaponry” make it easy to imagine Untytled as a hip-hop vigilante lurking in a city in the dead of night. The thumping track “Goldfish,” which showcases his hard-hitting rap style, ends the album on a strong note.
Jan. 15, self-released,

Twitter: @VonStonehocker

Pin It


More by Kolbie Stonehocker

  • The Ladells

    Forget the hammer: The Ladells are hitting listeners' ears with Vamp
    • May 13, 2015
  • Triggers & Slips

    Triggers & Slips ride the rails between music's past and present
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Folk Hogan

    Folk Hogan tells the dark story of a fantastical circus in The Show
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • More »

Latest in CD Reviews


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation