Long Beach’s Valley Arena deliver a dynamic, well-crafted modern rock album—I guess you could say that their sound has evolved and grown up, but they bring enough of their old building blocks to the studio to have assemble something mostly new, yet hazily familiar. They’re able to strike that delicate balance of their noisier/more frenetic elements with newly focused song structure that lends itself well to their individual playing styles. The real brilliance on this record is found in the guitar/bass tones—ranging from the shimmery effects of “The Dig” to the proto-punk trebly distortion on “Bait and Switch.” This record is full of creative, expressive guitar work and it’s reassuring to see a three-piece able to fill out their sound without any gimmicks. A lot of the creativity here manifests in the effortless way the guitar and bass are able to play off one another. Some of the most moving moments of the album are when the bass can take the lead and allow room for Chris Stevens’ guitar to meander through the rhythms. With tight songwriting and decisive vision on both the musical and tonal aspects of their sound, the Valley Arena are just getting started.