The startlingly high quality of the EP — which is being released on 12-inch, colored vinyl — is definitely worthy of celebration. If you are a fan of the contemporary crop of Rock artists that take Black Sabbath’s template and run with it into the 21st century, Valley of the Sun’s Sayings should get prime real estate in your record collection, squeezed comfortably between your Queens of the Stone Age, The Sword and Mastodon vinyl.
The huge guitars on Sayings often sound like a swarm of motorcycles revving engines, while the drums sound 50 feet tall, but it’s the smart, unpredictable songwriting, more intricate guitar leads, riffs and solos and the musicality and slow-grind groove of the drumming that is most alluring. The trio’s music is heavier than God, but the musicians never play heavy-handedly. Singer/guitarist Ryan Ferrier’s vocals are deep-in-the-gut soulful and gritty, delivering the soaring melodies (and clever harmonies) with the confidence and range of Chris Cornell at his peak. But, like the rest of the music, Ferrier’s singing is tasteful and never flashy.
VotS’s dynamic, riff-ridin’ sound could technically be put in the so-called “Stoner Rock” category, but there aren’t many hardcore stoners who could compose and arrange with the sophistication and smarts it so obviously took to make Sayings.
More Local Notes
• The MidPoint Music Festival is less than two months away and much of the lineup has been booked. Visit mpmf.com for the latest updates, or come out to Fountain Square Friday for the free MidPoint Indie Summer Series concert and find out in person. This Friday’s show kicks off at 7 p.m. with Athens, Ohio-based orchestral Indie Folk trio The Ridges. As they continue to finalize their debut album, local Indie Rock four-piece The Ready Stance (featuring former members of ’90s local scene faves Middlemarch) plays the middle slot, while critically acclaimed, on-the-rise Indie Roots band These United States closes the night out.
• Next week, positive-minded Hip Hop artist MC (Till) is going on tour, but he won’t have to take out a loan just to pay for gas. That’s because the stops on the Tour De Cincy (Aug. 7-12) are all in the Queen City. The MC is bringing along fellow local artist MC Forty and the unique duo, Agape Alive, which mixes acoustic music and dance. (Till) calls the shows “interactive fun for the entire family,” and promises an entertaining mix of music, comedy, drama and dance. For the dates and locations of each show (which concludes with an Aug. 12 performance at Rohs Street Café in University Heights), visit tourdecincy.com.
• Be sure to check the music blog at citybeat.com for frequent, fresh content, including reports from the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago this weekend. (Cincy’s own Indie Dance Pop superstars-to-be Walk the Moon are playing Lolla this year alongside some of music’s biggest stars and up-and-comers.) If you can’t make it to Chicago, you can still get some “palooza” action — Saturday, downtown club Mainstay hosts Localpalooza. The show starts at 6 p.m. and for $5, you can see some of the area’s finest bands, including Eat Sugar, The Lions Rampant, The Ohms, The Harlequins, Gold Shoes, The Frankl Project and many others.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the music blog at citybeat.com for more local music goodness.