Vinyl Blog #6. Rival Sons -Great Western Valkyrie
Before I get started on my Rival Sons record, I wanted to share something important about music. I recently read an article touching on the actual science of listening to music. It mentioned the correlation between the decline of interest in music and ear fatigue due to listening to highly compressed MP3 files through ear buds. In turn, this also effects the emotional response of listening to music when it is highly compressed. This is something that is replacing the music fanatic of the past, with the streamers of the day. It is kind of sad in a way. A lot of people are missing out on a still fulfilling listening experience. You can read more on the subject here: http://diffuser.fm/the-emotional-void-of-compressed-audio/
And so, this brings me to the Rival Sons. I instantly fell in love with this band. The first song that I heard from these guys was their breakthrough hit "Pressure and Time." I heard the song on a Friday afternoon. By that Sunday, I owned all of their albums, and now have three of them on vinyl. This is a band that still cares deeply about the actual craft of recording music. The band records all of their material on two inch, analog tape. They do not write their songs and demo the fuck out of them before going into the studio. They write and arrange on the spot, and then record the songs immediately, using only the first or second take as the version that appears on the album. It seems to be their unique stamp of quality on their art. Nothing is easy or fast in a process like this. These guys care about the music they make. And in doing so, they also care about the listener experience.
When interviewed by Blues Rock Review, Guitarist Scott Holiday explained the process. We’re working frenetically and quicker than the average band of this day and age, so it’s mandatory. When we get in there, we’re not partying, we’re not meandering, we’re not pussyfooting around. We’re working. So the minute we get in there every day, it’s time to make a song. Or two, or three. And we’re finishing them. We’re not like, “All right, we got a good drum sound today. See you tomorrow, guys!” That’s not what’s going on. We’re finishing songs: writing them, finishing them, recording them, mixing them, done. “Okay, what time is it now? One in the morning? Okay, time to go – because we’ve got to do this again tomorrow.”
The bands most current album "Great Western Valkyrie" continues Rival Sons tradition of on the spot recording. The vinyl copy that I picked up is a limited edition red/orange fire vinyl on 180 gram. Not only does it sound amazing, it also looks super badass. It really is so cool to hear a band like this back on the American rock scene. Hopefully more follow their lead in the march back to making real music. I have a feeling these guys will be putting out amazing albums for years to come.