REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 11/15/2005
Valient Thorr
Valient Thorr
Total Universe Man
Volcom


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Showdown"

Buy me now
Valient Thorr -- yes, Valient -- stack the deck with their sweaty, hard-rockin', cock-waving performances. You're really going to want to like these guys, and whether or not you'll do so is a matter of willpower and tolerance for shamelessly retro arena-oriented guitar rock. This music sounded stale twenty-five years ago. At this point, it's hard to say what it sounds like, beyond wry observations on the risks of taking up its cause.

Frontman Herbie Abernethy's hoarse, almost plaintive shouts are the source of much of Valient Thorr's appeal. Opener "Prologue: Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean" is literally Abernethy screaming about how worried he is that his band won't be able to put on a righteous enough show to please the crowd, and in the subsequent song, "Showdown", the band demonstrates that this really isn't a concern. They rock plenty hard, pulling out the solos and the percussive assaults left and right. The only problem is that, with the exception of Abernethy's desperately energized performance, it's all quite stale. Beneath that strangely charismatic veneer, you'll find the same crashing drums, the same crashing guitars, the same tired solos you'd find in any other arena-metal record. The band has stacked the deck with charm and moxy, but as much as you want them to pull it off, they're missing that special X-factor that could win arena rock skeptics over to their cause. Warmed-over riffs and a charismatic frontman don't guarantee good music; in Valient Thorr's case, they add up to a fleeting distraction that quickly gives way to boredom.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.