Vallens: Consent (Hand Drawn Dracula, 2016)

June 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Vallens: Consent

Vallens: Consent

Dark dreamy indie post-punk from Toronto which seems to fit naturally on a label called Hand Drawn Dracula. Not too far from recent Chelsea Wolfe, especially the vocals, but this one tips more towards dark new wave, shoegaze, and surf rock. After opening with a spooky ambient intro, the album gets brooding but bright. It’s dark, but not oppressively gloomy. “Rosemary” has a bit of a bluesy drag to it. “Devour” is a slow, sad dream-pop burner and the melody seems like a bit of an obvious nod to the Twin Peaks theme, but it sounds so good that it doesn’t matter. “Dark Tunnel” seems like a more sullen cousin of Best Coast’s “Boyfriend”, and it’s also a highlight. “Tennessee Haze” has the most bendy twisty shoegazey guitars of the album. “Sin Son Vain” alternates between Kim Gordon-esque speak-singing and a few crashing moments of release. “Still Need Dreams” is shorter and a bit more basic, but it stresses the importance of needing dreams, ending the album on a hopeful note. Definitely an impressive debut, wonder where this group is going to go next.

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