May 30th, 2009 | Album reviews

Download: The Valley Arena “Grayscale”


(from “We Died” out now on JAXART)

Without employing tired band comparisons to the Valley Arena’s angular modern rock sound, it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what makes this band interesting. It might be the calculated bass and guitar composition, or it might be the varied song structure; it’s most likely that they are talented song writers. In an A.D.D.-addled music scene where every band around town has to have a gimmick—which isn’t always a bad thing—it’s still somehow refreshing to hear a three-piece that just writes high-quality, straight-forward rock songs. On their upcoming 7”, the Valley Arena gives us two barn burners in “Bait and Switch” and “Gray Scale” with a bonus Ikey Owens remix of “SOS4XOX.” The two originals on the A-side offer a peak into the brand new LP. Both songs function independently of one another, but are great counterparts and I hope that the full length can show the same cohesion. The B-side remix takes a third track off the LP and reconfigures it. I wish some more of the original guitars could have been incorporated into the remix, but it’s still worth a few spins. Since the full length download is offered with a purchase of the 7’’ you really can’t go wrong!

—James Cartwright