I’ve got to admit, I was initially drawn to Valentiger because, well, let’s face it. They’ve pretty much got the cutest, warmest fuzzy of a band name ever. That may or may not be what they were going for, but being a sucker for a good band name, I appreciate the effort. Having been so drawn in, it really would have been quite heartbreaking had their album been horrible. As luck would have it, though, not only do they have a great name, they’ve got a great little album here, too.
Power Lines to Electric Times is, among other things, what I like to call a good Sunday afternoon record. It’s got both the lovely mellowness required for relaxing, but also a good bit of kick that helps really make the most of those last few waning hours of the weekend. It starts with the fantastic “Aboveboard”, a lightly jangling song with a hearty dose of down home warmth. “Leaving Town” is one of my favorites, heavy on the jangle and full of honest, frank vocals. Oh, and it’s got some serious mouth organ goin’ on, and that wins me over every time. The song shows off the subtle influence of a range of folks, from the candid earnestness of The Boss to the tight angularity of Brit bands like The Jam.
“Never Ready” is another of my favorites, the delicate strumming of the guitar working like a lullaby, soothing and peaceful. The dancing piano and softly-hit drums add to a tranquility that’s nigh on magical. “Bosses In Their Offices” is a delight, full of front porch attitude and an overall liveliness. The instrumentation at the end of “Under The Gun” is the musical equivalent of a glorious sunset over a Northern lake, surrounded by pines and clutching a beer while sitting in an Adirondack chair watching the fireflies. “The Girl That Everyone Forget” is a yet another favorite, a rollicking little firecracker, big on harmony and simple, heartfelt sounds.
Remember the name Valentiger, my loves. They’re one of those bands that takes inspiration the everyday banalities of life and crafts them into splendid little songs, full of honesty and without a whiff of pretension. Power Lines to Electric Times is a rustic, pastoral folk rock-with-a-dash-of-pop record. Well-played, well-written, and well done. It won my heart, and I’m pretty sure it’ll do the same to you.
mp3: Never Ready (Valentiger from Power Lines to Electric Times)