This is exactly the kind of music I like to discover in my life. It’s not revolutionary but it does expand on a beloved style of mine: sludgy and groovy Rock music. What’s added is a wonderful and unique vocal delivery by Miss Amber Valentine. ‘Miss’ is the keyword here because not only are female vocals a bit rare in Stoner and groove types of Rock, the versatility and quality of her voice is stunning. She can go from seductive and dreamy to groovy in a feel-good way to painstakingly raw and ugly (“Antietam”), always delivered with a fair share of emotion.
With that major factor out of the way the rest of the music consists of either monolithic grooves and riffs or subtle and minimalist playing of simple melodies and beats creating a cool new-age type of feeling. The balance between the two is pretty even and it is the fact that the heavy sections flow smoothly into the more minimalist stuff (or the other way around) that creates an awesome dynamic structure and effect. Yet still, the heavy sections have my preference for they create a truly climactic atmosphere, especially the first three songs of the album are of a masterly brilliance.
Listen to the hypnotizing Sludge Rock of “She Tides The Deep” and the very bleak “Centralia” or the superb groove of “Lucky Ones Burn” with its highly impressive main riff to discover a great twist on a still pretty well known style. Strangely enough the rest of the album isn’t quite of the same high level at the first three tracks albeit still very good. It’s the dynamics, variety and, I’ll say it again, the stellar vocals that really make this Rock album work. It’s basically an exploration of many types of heavy and alternative Rock interspersed with bleak, minimalist parts whilst having a solid foundation in Heavy/Stoner Rock in general. As such it is recommended to all who feel attracted to any style mentioned in the review.
(Online December 6, 2006)