Places, with a postcard…

Apr 20, 2014

The long-awaited releases by Hailer and The Valery Trails are out now or about to be. There’s a place name theme going on – the Hailer EP is entitled “El Cosmico” ( a real place in Texas) and The Valery Trails named their second album ‘Buffalo Speedway”. Which is a road in Houston. Go figure. Anyway, both releases are getting a lot of love.

First – Hailer. The reviewers are saying stuff like this:

“…We’re big fans of anything Australian because that continent just continues to churn out gold as far as music is concerned. Rock band Hailer is another fine example of the good stuff coming out of the down under these days.” (Bandbook Blog, USA)

“…You’ll find the group make a little nod to psych rock with the way the song is structured, but I really enjoy the song’s straight-ahead rock appeal. It jumps right into the mix, with smashing drum work and distorted guitar screeching through your speakers.” (Austin Town Hall, USA)

“…I’ve never been much of a fan of taking a shovel out in the yard and digging. Probably because I am deathly afraid of worms. But with Hailer cheering me on, I went out today and dug fourteen. That’s how pumped it made me. “Digging Holes” comes from the band’s new album EL COSMICO. The band describes it as “what happens when you put 3 musicians in a van and have them tour the US for months … Sometimes sweet, other times noisy, cerebral, unhinged, psychedelic rock and roll.” I agree completely.” (Write.Click.Cook.Listen, USA)

“… New track “Digging Holes” remains in the rock spectrum, but more in the party-going fun rock-nostalgia manner of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, with heavy guitar riffs reminiscent of Mclusky. The track’s best moment is the intense chorus, where frantic vocals repeat “holes, we keep on diggin’” over intensifying drums and guitar roars; it supplements images of hurried digging quite well. So while “Digging Holes” is certainly a different-sounding track than “Spooky Clams” and perhaps less adventurous, it’s overall more exciting and accessible… Another standout track (is) “Crucify the Commodore”, which is just as crunchy-fun as “Digging Holes”…” (Obscure Sound, USA)

“…This record has a harder edge. Exploring their entire catalogue, it seems that there is an evolution with each record. That is a trait common to great bands. I particularly dig the song Crucify The Commodore. It has an intensity that I dig.” (40 Watt Gigolo, USA)

“Hailer are a band from Sydney that either sound like Arcade Fire at their best, or Dead Moon watching a Dukes of Hazard marathon. Seriously, each of the six songs patiently alternates between either the former or latter category. ‘Cold Outside’ could’ve been taken from Ernest Ellis’ new album, and ‘Symbol and Allegory’ wouldn’t sound out of place on Beck’s ‘Sea Change’ record. Meanwhile, ‘Crucify the Commodore’ and ‘Machine Music’ revel in noisy rock territory, sliding between psychedelic hopelessness and full-blown in-ya-face 80′s pop-punk rock (Husker Du, The Replacements). While Hailer might not be breaking any new ground, it’s still good to see a band that can play a bit of rock music well.” (SoundlySounds, AUS)

Good, huh? You can pick up the EP from the band’s website in whatever manner you choose. Do it.

And The Valery Trails have unleashed a stunning album that has caught the ears of some significant US reviewer, plus some nice Australian commentary.  Here are just some of them:

“… Buffalo Speedway is an exceptional collection of proof of just how talented and important The Valery Trails are.  The sound is not too extreme, but definitely not without sass and grind.  It is just loud enough to be exciting, but calm enough to not leave you in disarray after a complete listen.  It is an album that just leaves you feeling good all over. If you enjoy solid guitar work, unique vocals, and wonderfully produced rock and roll songs, there is absolutely no excuse for you to not check out The Valery Trails and their sophomore release Buffalo Speedway.  If you can appreciate melodies, harmonies, and over calming sensations, this is the album you are supposed to be listening to right this second.  You owe it to yourself to throw this band’s sound into your life.” (Trainwreck’d Society, USA)

“… there’s something about The Valery Trails, even as they make alt-pop records that could have been laid down any time between 1989 and 2003, something that’s hard to nail down… Even their most elated moments, including a guilty pleasure that’s perhaps my favourite on the album, For As Long As It Lasts: it’s so upbeat, but you can see, even in the title, it contains the seeds of its own destruction…Maybe, in a real way, this very particular sound belongs to Brisbane. In which case it turns out that you can’t actually take Brisbane out of the boy. I think that’s sad and great at the same time. (4ZZZ, AUS)

“… the band has a unique sound. Their sophomore album was mastered by the minds behind Pavement, Animal Collective and Deerhunter, which could explain Buffalo Speedway‘s distinctively indie style. The release opens with “Starsong,” a charming track reminiscent of Modern English’s perpetually-played new wave hit, “I Melt With You.” “Starsong” has a similar vibe, as well as the same smooth feel and easy-to-listen-to quality. “Children” slows the speed of the LP a little, adding a little mournfulness to the mix. “There Is Love” launches with a riff bringing to mind “We Got The Beat” by The Go-Gos, and turns into a song of hope. Closing the album is “Rise And Fall,” which ditches the fun background instrumentals in favor of boy-girl harmonies and profound lyricism… Buffalo Speedway could easily lend some tracks to become the soundtrack of a generation in a “1979”-ish kind of way…  The Valery Trails created an excellent record; it would not be out of place as the last song in a generation-defining movie or as part of the soundtrack to a nationwide movement.” (The Aquarian, USA)

” This sophomore album hits it out of the ballpark with its firm grasp of neatly chugging rock that bristles with a wealth of tasty hooks and sparkling harmony. The vocals are smooth and expressive, the arrangements tight and tuneful, and the sharp songwriting once again ably explores a perfectly touching vein of bittersweet reflectivity. This is the type of music that lifts one’s spirits in the most direct and immediate way possible: There’s a straight-on honest sincerity at work that’s impossible not to be moved by. Moreover, this group sure knows how to rock out something stirring when the urge overtakes them, as the super snappy and rousing titular track irrefutably confirms. A lovely little gem. ” (JerseyBeat, USA).

OK – that’s just some of them. It’s an outstanding album and can be purchased from the band’s website – it should be on sale any day now!