Say Psych: Album Review: Spirit Valley – Negatives

Rating: 7/10

Amsterdam duo Spirit Valley are yet another new addition to the ever expanding Fuzz Club Records roster, releasing their second album Negatives on 4th August.

Dave Tomlinson and Chris Stabback originated in Sydney before moving to Amsterdam a couple of years ago. They then released debut album Give Trance A Chance, before embarking on a six week tour of mainland Europe.

Negatives opens with ‘Don’t Panic’ with its sound bite intro, vibrant electronic sound and DIY percussion, this is the perfect way to introduce new ears to their sound. The bouncing beat gives way to a more lo-fi approach as the track progresses and will appeal to fans of The Soft Moon. ‘Dileria Hysteria’ makes clever use of reverb and delay on the vocals to fill the sound initially before this give way into oscillating electronica. ‘Waiting For Real’ channels Interpol-esq vocals, maintaining a moody countenance and an eerily haunting melody.

Title track ‘Negatives’ flares into action instantly, with an electronic organ opening up to organised mania, harnessing some of the energy fans of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard will appreciate. ‘TNNLVSSN’ again channels post punk vibes, with a sound touted by The Editors. The track moves towards a dreamy sound scape as it progresses, with the tempo slowing and the elements fading out with each repetition. ‘Heatwave’ has more of an electro trance presence whilst ‘Chronic Youth’ offers up a sound Joy Division would have been proud to create.

‘Vacational Mind (Where Is My?)’ uses water as a musical element, infusing against a pounding percussion section and fuzzy guitar riff. There is so much going on in this one and at such complex levels, it would be easy to be fooled into thinking that there are five or six members of this band. ‘Spheres’ completes the album with its catchy beat but ambient vibe.

After hearing the quality of this release, it is easy to understand why they have garnered such a reputation on the live circuit; the energy is relentless, the harmonies catchy and offers an overall sound that traverses the genre boundaries.

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