Valley Below: Dog Day (VB Music, 2010)
Valley Below’s second album Dog Day is far from being entirely flawless, but in a way that’s part of the charm. There are bits and pieces that I don’t like at all, but it doesn’t matter because the album as a whole feels fresh and alive. Sometimes you just need to make a couple of wrong turns in order to make the trip interesting. There’s straightforward rock, harmonic power pop and beautiful folk. Sometimes even within a same song. For example Primitives kicks in like a 90’s weird finnish indie rock tune, then burst into a great pop chorus and then slowes down into something beautiful before the last chorus brings it to the end. The best thing about the album are the vocal melodies. Valley Below started out as an acoustic duo and they’ve played and sung together a lot. It shows, because every now and then the vocals just click perfectly. My own favourite song is Kick-Off that reminds me of Poverty Stinks, but several others come close. There are also 3-4 songs that I’m not a big fan of, but even some of those contain a few wonderful moments. Dog Day is far from perfect, but it’s a delightful and extremely enjoyable album and the band deserves a lot of credit for not playing it safe.