The Obelisk Presents: The Top 10 Debut Albums of 2014

Posted in Features on December 26th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Dudley-Street,-Seven-Dials.-Gustave-Doré-(1832-83) top 10

Please note: These are not the results of the Readers Poll. That’s still going on. Please feel free to submit your list.

Making and releasing a first full-length album is a special moment in the life of any band, and that’s why I wanted to single out some of the best debuts of the year. I’ve never done this before, and so maybe with a top 10 I’m testing the waters a bit, but it seemed a worthwhile project anyway. It was a long (inner) debate about whether or not to include EPs and singles here too, but in the end, it just seemed to work better with albums.

Not to take anything away from shorter releases, but putting out a debut EP is much different than a debut LP. First of all, a debut LP can come after several EPs or singles or demos or whatever and still be considered first. What a first album says to the listener is, “Okay, we’ve come this far and we’re ready to take this step.” Some bands, once they start putting out albums, never go back to EPs. Others who’ve been around for 30 years still release demos every now and then, but even so, a group only ever gets one crack at their first album, and it can be one of the most important things we ever do.

Compared to how many come out any given month, year, century, etc., very few debut long-players ever wind up being classics, and who knows what the future might hold for any of these acts on this list, but that not knowing and that excitement are part of the fun.

Let’s get to it:

the-well-samsara

The Top 10 Debut Albums of 2014

1. The Well, Samsara
2. The Golden Grass, The Golden Grass
3. Spidergawd, Spidergawd
4. Atavismo, Desintegración
5. Blues Pills, Blues Pills
6. Steak, Slab City
7. Comet Control, Comet Control
8. Elephant Tree, Theia
9. Black Moon Circle, Black Moon Circle
10. Temple of Void, Of Terror and the Supernatural

A couple honorable mentions. First to  We make it easy for you to buy website content from thousands of qualified writers. See how our website http://urbaclima.com/phd-dissertation-poscher/s can help you. Valley of the Sun‘s  Our news is available online to give your admissions officers a sense of who you are. Choose top preferred college essay help to showcase your Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk, which I still didn’t know what to do with the release date for. Officially 2014, but kinda released in 2013 too. I was back and forth on it. Also  Paid essay writing jobs available right now. You can get Boston College Essay Help and earn up to 00 monthly working from home! Wasted Theory‘s burly debut,  Online English visit heres from Content Development Pros remove any grammar, stylistic or plagiarism issues. Call now to engage our proofreaders Monolord‘s Where to order http://www.maps.upc.edu/college-paper-writing-help/s? Take a look here, the best research papers writing site will do your assignment from scratch on time. Empress Rising, Online Studying services website guarantee original custom essay papers written by highly qualified writers at cheap prices. Child‘s Learn more about Write Plan's Dissertation On Capital Budgeting. Child, the If you are pressed for time or lack editing skills, just say "Edit my essay!". Our professional Doctoral Thesis On Spa service is willing to give you a helping hand. Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart sprawling one-song LP from  Only plagiarism free papers The http://webtoys.cz/?resume-writing-services-vancouver-island papers obtained here are original and meet all the highest academic standards. Sylvaine.

Some notes: Actual time spent listening played a big role in the structuring of this list. More so than the Top 30 of 2014, I would say.  Help Writing In Cursive - Quality papers at competitive costs available here will make your studying into pleasure commit your report to qualified The Well‘s  Express Proofreading is a leading English proofreading and editing service, providing expert English Essay Services to students and to businesses. Samsara and the self-titled debut from  http://www.acutronic.com/?help-homework-school FOR CHEAP? If you do not want to spend all your savings on homework, ask us for help. We set reasonable prices. The Golden Grass featured pretty high on that list as well, and that’s because both of them were records that I continually went back to and found satisfying after they came out. In both bands I think there’s significant stylistic potential, but more importantly, they both came out of the gate with their mission solidified and ready to roll.

With  DoMyWriting provides dissertation students service. We process all "write my essay" requests fast. Only 100% plagiarism free essays Spidergawd‘s  http://bursabakaracicek.com/?do-citations-essay-website in ct - Let us help with your Master thesis. Essays & researches written by top quality writers. Entrust your papers to the most Spidergawd, the progressive take on classic heavy rock boogie was blinding, but righteous. Their second album is due early next year on  @ScienceWriters. With more than 2,000 members, the National Association of http://www.clickmedia.gr/?dissertation-sur-le-respect-des-autres fosters the dissemination of accurate information regarding science. Stickman and I’ll have more on it to come in the weeks ahead.  Atavismo‘s Desintegración hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. Just four songs, but the atmosphere was gorgeous enough that after listening I went back and asked the band if I could host a stream in hopes that more people would hear it. Fortunately for anyone who listened, they were kind enough to comply.

On sheer impact alone, I think Blues Pills‘ Blues Pills warrants inclusion on this list, but in my own listening, I put on the top four so much more often that I couldn’t really justify placing it any higher. But in terms of a first album coming out and really propelling a band to the next level, I think for a lot of people it’s probably the debut of the year. Fair enough. Steak‘s Slab City found the London four-piece physically and stylistically right in the heart of the California desert and their passion for that place and its sound came across heartfelt on the recording, which only heightened the appeal.

And while I’m still sorry to see Quest for Fire go, the debut from offshoot Comet Control helped ease that sorrow neatly with a blend of driving heavier space rock and psychedelic vibing. Cool album, bodes well. You could say the same for Elephant Tree‘s Theia, I suppose. Their take on psychedelia melded with screamy sludge successfully where I think a lot of bands would’ve fallen flat trying the same thing, and that’s definitely something noteworthy in an initial offering, particularly one not preceded by an EP or other kind of release.

To round things out, two very different records. Black Moon Circle‘s self-titled took a popular stylistic course — melding heavy rock and psychedelic jamming — and showed the trio beginning to make it their own. That’s something I hope will continue on their second outing, which, like that of Spidergawd, is coming on quick early in 2015. And finally, Temple of Void‘s extreme, deathly take on doom courted genres smoothly and delivered its punishment with efficiency while holding together a coherent atmosphere of darkness and aggression. It was a sadistic joy to behold.

If you missed it, there were a couple debuts included on the Top 20 Short Releases of 2014 list as well — Gold & SilverWrenDeath Alley, and so on — so if you’re looking for more of that kind of thing, you don’t have to look too far. I hope if there was a debut album this year that particularly caught your attention, you’ll let me know in the comments.

 

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Valley of the Sun Announce European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

So, get this. In the span of eight days — just over a week’s time — Ohio trio Valley of the Sun will get to play Desertfest Belgium, share the stage with the likes of ConanMonkey3 and Mars Red Sky, and then go play the Keep it Low festival in Munich. I’m sure the rest of the tour — which is their second run in Europe this year, by the way — will be awesome as well, but that’s a hard stretch to beat right there. Think of it in terms of “good weeks you’ve had,” and I think you’ll probably see what I mean.

Cool times for the Cincinnati three-piece after issuing their Fuzzorama Records debut LP, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk (review here), in Europe at the start of the year and in the US over the summer. After a somewhat lengthy process getting the album into public hands and ears, all the better that they get to enjoy the fruits of their labors (which, incidentally are just more labor, but awesome labor).

Dates as follow:

valley of the sun

VALLEY OF THE SUN TO EUROPE AGAIN!!!

WE promised you an update with tourdates for the hardhitting OHIO trio, here you go! The band promise some new merch so don’t miss the shows ;)

Alright hard rockers, got a list of tour dates and links for you. Some off dates are still in the works so keep checking for updates, but here’s what’s on the books so far:

10.10.14 Antwerp, BE Desert Fest
11.10.14 Oelsnitz, GE Ragga
12.10.14 Berlin, GE Bassy Club with Mars Red Sky
13.10.14 Hamburg, GE Hafenklang with Conan
14.10.14 TBD
15.10.14 Jena, GE Kulturbahnhof with monkey3
16.10.14 Cologne, GE Sonic Ballroom
17.10.14 Frankfurt, GE Sky High Festival
18.10.14 Munich, GE Keep It Low – Festival (afternoon set)
18.10.14 Siegen, GE VORTEX Musikclub (evening set)
19.10.14 TBD
20.10.14 TBD
21.10.14 Pratteln, CH Z7 with Monkey3
22.10.14 Karlsruhe, GE Alte Hackerei with Monkey3
23.10.14 Lucerne, CH The Bruch Brothers
24.10.14 Innsbruck, AUS TBD
25.10.14 Brescia, ITA Latteria
26.10.14 TBD
27.10.14 Strasbourg, FR Mudd MuddClub
28.10.14 TBD
29.10.14 Dresden, GE Ost Pol
30.10.14 Cottbus, GE Blue Moon Festival
31.10.14 TBD
01.11.14 Munster, GE Rare guitar

FUZZORAMA: www.facebook.com/Fuzzorama
FUZZORAMA: twitter.com/FuzzoRecords
VALLEY OF THE SUN: www.facebook.com/valleyofthesun
VALLEY OF THE SUN: twitter.com/centaur_rodeo

Valley of the Sun, “Maya” Live

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Valley of the Sun Set June 10 US Release for Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Bit of confusion on my part here, since I thought Ohio trio Valley of the Sun released their Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk LP (review here) back at the end of January in time for their European tour with Fuzzorama label heads Truckfighters. That’s not counting the copies of the vinyl that went out prior to that to those who supported their (obviously successful) crowdfunding effort to make the recording happen. But between those two, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk still remains unreleased in the US, and as the PR wire informs, that’s a situation set to rectify on June 10. So far as I understand, it’ll still be on Fuzzorama Records, and while for a band as accomplished-sounding as Valley of the Sun it’s odd to think of it as such, this will still be their debut full-length release. So congratulations. Now go make another.

Ha!

Here’s me quoting the PR wire quoting me:

VALLEY OF THE SUN to Release “Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk” June 10

U.S. Heavy Hitters Sign to Fuzzorama Records for Release of Highly Anticipated Debut LP

Cincinnati “Volume Rock” power trio VALLEY OF THE SUN will release its debut full length LP Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk on June 10 via Fuzzorama Records, the label owned and operated by Swedish rock band Truckfighters. Recorded at Nada Studios in New York, the album is the follow up to the band’s 2011 EP The Saying of the Seers, which led hard rock mecca The Obelisk to state, “there’s no question that Valley of the Sun are placing themselves at the forefront of the new generation of American heavy rock.” Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is available for pre-order purchase now at this location.

Featuring 10 electric tracks of confident, concentrated heavy music that hits hard with downtuned riffing, stadium-sized hooks, powerful artistic muscle and the take charge roar of guitarist / front man Ryan Ferrier, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk positions VALLEY OF THE SUN as a buzz band to watch. Relentless road dogs that have shared stages worldwide with friends and peers such as Truckfighters, Priestess, The Sword, Karma to Burn and more, VALLEY OF THE SUN has distilled the vigor and vibrancy of its triumphant live performances to tape, perfectly capturing their epic tone, rhythm, talent and attention to dynamics on the new record.

“The new record shows how we’ve grown as a band over the last couple years,” said VALLEY OF THE SUN drummer Aaron Boyer. “It’s been a lot of fun writing, recording and playing live in support of it. We’re really excited for our fans to be able to pick it up soon and let us know what they think.”

Track listing:
1.) Worm Teeth
2.) As Earth and Moon
3.) Maya
4.) Nomads
5.) Laser Vision Intermission
6.) Within the Glare
7.) The Message Is Get Down
8.) The Sleeping Sand
9.) Gunslinger
10.) Centaur Rodeo

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/electric-talons-thunderhawk/id875050044
https://www.facebook.com/valleyofthesun
http://valleyofthesun.bandcamp.com

Valley of the Sun, “Gunslinger” from Electric Talons of the Thunderawk (2014)

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Valley of the Sun, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk: The Message

Posted in Reviews on February 3rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The central question that emerged from Valley of the Sun‘s 2011 second EP, The Sayings of the Seers (review here), was whether or not the Cincinnati three-piece could maintain the level of energy, of sonic movement, of professionalism in songwriting and production over the course of a full-length album and still offer enough variety to keep tracks from sounding redundant. Their cumbersomely-titled debut long-player, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk, released through Fuzzorama Records — the imprint helmed by former and once again Valley of the Sun tourmates Truckfighters — answers that question with a simple yes. Yes, they can. And they do. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and an initial vinyl pressing for contributors, the trio show on the 10-track/44-minute outing that the support they received coming off of The Sayings of the Seers was not misplaced, and that the crisp, cognizant and engaging presentation of that outing would serve as the foundation of an even bigger assemblage of ideas this time around. Recorded, mixed and mastered by John Naclerio (who also helmed the EP) at Nada Studios in New York, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is slick in its layers but expertly handled to craft a sense of space that guitarist/vocalist Ryan Ferrier, bassist Ryan McAllister (who also handled the cover art and layout) and drummer Aaron Boyer work within throughout the songs. In its front-to-back flow and its individual pieces, it is as smooth and balanced an execution of heavy rock as you’re likely to hear. Valley of the Sun come across as tasteful but edgy, produced but natural and in cuts like “As Earth and Moon,” “Nomads,” “The Message is Get Down,” and “Centaur Rodeo,” they offer memorable, classy hooks that long outlast the album’s runtime.

Opener “Worn Teeth” begins at a half-echo blues before unfurling its full crunching breadth, but the central ideas around which Valley of the Sun seem to work are still based in desert rock. Kyuss are a central influence, and Ferrier seems to shift skillfully between the inflections of John Garcia and peak-era Chris Cornell — yes, that is a compliment — but both through their being a Midwestern act and via what seems to be their own creative will, Valley of the Sun present familiar riffing methods with their own take. Heads will find much recognizable as the easy roll of “Worn Teeth” kicks into the full-run of “As Earth and Moon,” but the momentum they build and the flow of Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk delivers more than desert affectations. McAllister also shares a tenure in the rhythm section of Kentucky’s Moonbow with Hermano drummer Steve Earle, and some of Hermano‘s …Into the Exam Room seems to serve as a guide for how Valley of the Sun‘s debut plays out, whether it’s the funk-swinging starts and stops of “The Message is Get Down” or the push-to-apex groove of the penultimate “Gunslinger.” “The Sleeping Sand” would seem to pay shuffling homage to a desert landscape, but on side A, “Maya” and “Nomads” seem less geographically loyal, the former showing early richness in the bass while Ferrier‘s vocal clarity steps forward in the chorus as a defining element of the album. Like a lot of the record, the structure of “Maya” is straightforward, but as various layers of guitar rise up and drop out, as Boyer‘s thudding toms poke through the mix en route to the last chorus, there’s more than enough to keep the audience hooked for the duration of the two sides into which Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is very much broken, the first ending with the two-minute acoustic “Laser Vision Intermission,” and the second starting with the fade-in rush of “Within the Glare.”

Read more »

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Valley of the Sun Sign to Fuzzorama; European Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Kudos are in order to Cincinnati, Ohio, trio Valley of the Sun. Word has come down the PR wire that the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Ryan Ferrier, bassist Ryan McAllister and drummer Aaron Boyer have aligned themselves with Sweden-based Fuzzorama Records, the label helmed by none other than Truckfighters. Touring with Truckfighters in Europe is also set for February 2014, and Valley of the Sun‘s debut long-player, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk will be out at the end of March.

A hearty hell yeah to the dudes in Valley of the Sun — their 2011 EP, The Sayings of the Seers (review here), left an impression worthy of the achievement — and here’s looking forward to good things to come.

Dig it:

VALLEY OF THE SUN SIGN TO FUZZORAMA RECORDS!!!

New Album & European Tour Dates in Spring 2014!

US Power Stoner Rock band VALLEY OF THE SUN just announced that they have signed with Truckfighters’ label Fuzzorama Records, who will be releasing the band’s upcoming album “Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk” on March 28th in Europe & March 31st 2014 for the UK!
To celebrate the release of their new album live, Valley Of The Sun will be also finally hitting the road next year for some long-awaited European shows alongside with TRUCKFIGHTERS and WHITE MILES!

Check out all tour dates below & mark your calendar for the release of the new album by Valley Of The Sun – “Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk” – set to hit the European stores March 28th & in the UK on March 31st 2014 via Fuzzorama Records – but rumors said you will be able to pick up an early copy at all upcoming live shows!

TRUCKFIGHTERS, VALLEY OF THE SUN & WHITE MILES live in Europe:
Feb 14: Debaser Strand – Stockholm, Sweden
Feb 15: Blaa – Oslo, Norway
Feb 16: Beta – Copenhagen, Denmark
Feb 18 Uebel & Gefaehrlich – Hamburg, Germany
Feb 19 Lido – Berlin, Germany
Feb 20 Groove Station – Dresden, Germany
Feb 21 Backstage – Munich, Germany
Feb 22 Chelsea – Vienna, Austria
Feb 24 Hafenkneipe – Zurich, Switzerland
Feb 25 Freakout – Bologna, Italy
Feb 27 Melkweg – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Feb 28 Divan du Monde – Paris, France
Mar 06 Luxor – Cologne, Germany
Mar 07 AB – Brussels, Belgium
Mar 08 Underworld – London, United Kingdom

www.facebook.com/valleyofthesun
www.valleyofthesun.bandcamp.com
www.fuzzoramarecords.com

Valley of the Sun, “Gunslinger”

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