Valleyheart Review

artist: She Wants Revenge date: 06/03/2011 category: compact discs

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She Wants Revenge: Valleyheart
Released: May 24, 2011
Genre: Post-Punk, Synthpop, Gothic Rock
Label: Fiveseven Music
Number Of Tracks: 10
From behind the window pane, "Valleyheart" looks like vengeful leap into success. Up close, it's an unexpected collection of recorded material that's been given too much attention and shine just to be noticed.
 Sound: 5
 Lyrics: 6
 Overall Impression: 5
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overall: 5.3
Valleyheart Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 03, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Darkwave, goth rock, synthpop; call it whatever you want. She Wants Revenge's under-looked style of music twisted and shaped the California duo, providing them with a stable compound of listeners, a distinctive sound and even a pair of recognizable sexy, dark album covers ("She Wants Revenge", "This Is Forever"). Attempting to erase an already etched short history is the major pitfall of the group's third release "Valleyheart". Being inked through their own label, the LP should present itself as a step forward, a jump into perfecting a sound. Opener "Take The World" achieves this watching Justin Warfield's Interpol-like voice slither over gothic keys, letting the mood sink in for a good five minutes. That is, until the synthesizer work and gritty guitar appear too waxed. "Kiss Me" is an amateur-hour Killers take leading into "Up In Flames" which chugs with a stadium rock feel until crashing into an abyss of unworthy melodies. The problem being with "Valleyheart" isn't it's creativity; it's easy to understand the approach She Wants Revenge are taking. The production on the other hand, powers through with too much gloss ("Little Stars", "Must Be The One") that barely shimmers as it's caked together. // 5

Lyrics: Warfield considers himself a new wave connoisseur unafraid of ripping pages from dance music. His low-register vocals aren't flashy as instead, they're carefully delivered, making basic lines of speech rattle with a bit more vigor and passion. "Not Just A Girl" does this, over an almost INXS-like beat, letting Warfield even drip into a higher pitch towards the closing bit of the track, making the conversation about love that much more brittle. However, the over-produced mixes have him babbling like a nervous lyricist projecting punchlines like "raise your glass in toasts to the one you miss the most", ("Holiday Song") and "she tastes so sweet but stays with you after", ("Reasons") which even dares to follow with spoken words. These cuts are the ones that prove "Valleyheart" acts too restrained; the tempo of "Suck It Up" is a gothic rush and just when you feel as if the She Wants Revenge frontman is going to burst out screaming at the top of his lungs, he's all baritone. It's his style to keep, but when branching out from the band's norm, there are steps a vocalist needs to take. // 6

Overall Impression: From behind the window pane, "Valleyheart" looks like vengeful leap into success. Up close, it's an unexpected collection of recorded material that's been given too much attention and shine just to be noticed. The talent is oblivious yet the way its channeled is unorthodox. Are the duo desperate to penetrate into radio airwaves? Is Adam Bravin simply bored with hitting bass notes? Is post-punk over? The last question should be disregarded; post-punk sleeps, eats and breathes, it's just She Wants Revenge are putting forth too much effort into manipulating the genre to create a new style that can only be associated with them. While doing that at the same time, the duo recklessly fall in line with the rest of indie rock, sounding like just another band that mixes instruments to generate rhythms. The only difference being, the output almost seems karaoke-generated. // 5

- Joshua Khan (c) 2011

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