Death Valley Dreams’ new self-titled EP is 2016’s first great EP. The band will release the five-track record independently next Friday, January 15th. For those that might be less familiar with the Pennsylvania-based quartet, its name sounds ominous. That goes without saying. But in listening to the band’s debut EP, audiences will realize that the band’s name is quite misleading. The reality of Death Valley Dreams’ sound is that it is more akin to the likes of Modest Mouse and others of that ilk than what one might think from the band’s name alone. And that is not a bad thing, either. The thought-provoking lyrical content presented in each of the record’s songs is just as interesting as its musical content. Both elements combined, they make Death Valley Dreams’ nineteen-minute run time pass without listeners even realizing it. That is evident right off the top in the record’s lead song ‘Words Like Fire.’ The song’s 80’s new wave-influenced sound coupled with its deep lyrical content makes it a composition that will keep listeners engaged and talking well after the song ends. ‘The Darker Years’ is another example of how the combination of the EP’s musical and lyrical content makes this record well worth the listen. ‘Take a Look At Yourself’ is one more example of what makes Death Valley Dreams such an interesting first effort from the band. All three songs show by themselves to be enjoyable works. Altogether they paint a picture of a band that has real potential. The same can be said of the record’s remaining pair of songs ‘Turn Out Those Eyes’ and ‘Never Meant For Anyone.’ Regardless of which song(s) listeners choose as their favorite(s) on this recording it can be said that all five songs show collectively why Death Valley Dreams is 2016’s first great new EP.
Death Valley Dreams’ self-titled debut EP is 2016’s first great new EP. That is thanks to the combination of the record’s surprisingly infectious musical content and its thought deep, thought-provoking lyrical content. That is evident right from the record’s opener ‘Words Like Fire.’ The song’s musical content will impress fans of Cold War Kids, Modest Mouse, and others of that ilk with its 80s new wave influence. Even those that might not be fans of 80s new wave will be surprised at just how much they actually enjoy the sound churned out in this song. The song’s musical content is just one part of what makes it such a solid first impression for Death Valley Dreams. The song’s lyrical content will keep listeners engaged just as much as its musical content. Front man Nick Coyle sings in the song’s lead verse, “Words like fire/Underneath your breath/And a child inside/The nervous wreck/Within this insecurity/You were always so alone/Hello, hello, goodbye, hello, hello.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “You were living an extraordinary life/There’s nothing left to do but fall apart.” From there the song’s chorus fills out the remainder of the song. Guitarist Jon Nova noted in a recent interview with Music Junkie Press that the song’s lyrical content was centered on what he called “the insecurity of liars.” That makes sense in considering both verses, with Coyle singing of someone that was “always so alone” and “a child inside.” The interview in whole can be read online now at http://musicjunkiepress.com/rock/interview-with-death-valley-dreams/. While not the first song to ever be centered lyrically on such a topic, it is definitely one of the more elegant and creative ways in which the topic has been handled. That applies both to the song’s lyrical content and musical content. Most songs that take on the subject of liars and fake people in general typically tend to be far more aggressive both lyrically and musically. Considering that, both elements presented here make ‘Words Like Fire’ a clear example of what makes Death Valley Dreams’ debut EP a good first effort. It is just one example of what makes the band’s self-titled EP work so well, too. ‘The Darker Years,’ the EP’s second song, is another example of what makes this record a good first impression for the band.
‘Words Like Fire’ is not the first song to ever take on the subject of liars and fake people in general. But the manner in which the band approached the song makes it stand out in its presentation here. It is just one example of what makes this new record a good effort from Death Valley Dreams. The record’s second offering ‘The Darker Years’ is yet another example of what makes this record work as well as it does. [Jon] Nova discussed this song very briefly in the band’s interview with Music Junkie Press along with the discussion on ‘Words Like Fire.’ He noted of the song that it is about “Observing people chase the things they want, but neglecting the things they need.” That is the precise wording of Nova’s response about the song when he was asked about the song’s concept. Again, the full interview can be accessed at the link above. As Coyle sings in the song’s lead verse, “You said you’d wait for me/In the darker years/Holding back the fear again/Well you look so tough/So serious/But the walls come down with a fury/And the weight of your conscience/A hole in your heart/And all again we thrust/Into the sun/We run/Into the sun.” He goes on to sing in the song’s verse what can only be assumed to be a statement about people choosing to live in the proverbial dream world than face the real world, and how people want to avoid certain situations. Considering this, Nova’s statement about the song being centered on people choosing to pursue wants rather than needs makes more sense. Both verses come across collectively as Coyle singing about people trying to avoid the negative situations in life and go more towards those things that make them happy despite being unnecessary. It is metaphorical. But in hindsight it works in getting the message across. Keeping that in mind, the partnering of these deep lyrics and the song’s musical content makes the song in whole yet another good example of what makes Death Valley Dreams a good first effort from DVD. It still is not the only remaining example of what makes this EP the year’s first great EP either. ‘Take A Look At Yourself,’ the record’s penultimate piece of music is one more example of what makes this record a good offering from Death Valley Dreams.
Both ‘Words Like Fire’ and ‘The Darker Years’ are good examples in their own way, of what makes Death Valley Dreams’ new EP a good offering. While both songs show in their own way to be key examples of what makes this EP a good effort from the men of DVD, they are not the only songs that can be cited in showing what makes this record work. ‘Take A Look At Yourself,’ the EP’s penultimate composition can be cited just as easily as the previously noted songs in what makes Death Valley Dreams such an interesting listen. As with the EP’s other offerings, this song boasts a blatant 80s new wave influence. But at the same time it sets itself apart with a little more of a 90s rock sound, too. The combination of those sounds within the confines of this song makes the song’s musical content just one interesting aspect of the composition. The song’s lyrical content plays just as important of a role here as its musical content. Coyle an his band mates tell listeners to “take a look at yourself” in the song’s chorus. Coyle goes on to sing to audiences that they should take a look at themselves before they blame others for their situations in life. He sings, “The deal with the devil/Leads to the point of no return/Before you blame anyone/Just take a look at yourself.” He seems to note, too that the people who try to blame everyone else for their problems are the same ones that refuse to give up being such types, so they need to take a good, long look at themselves so that they will finally realize who is really to blame for their situations. This could be off the mark. It is of course just this critic’s own take on the song. Hopefully it is at least somewhere in the proverbial ballpark. Regardless, Coyle and company have given listeners just as much to talk about here in these lyrics as in the song’s musical content. Both elements together make ‘Take A Look At Yourself’ one more example of what makes DVD a good first effort from Death Valley Dreams. Together with ‘Words Like Fire’ and ‘The Darker Years’ both songs and ‘Take A Look At Yourself’ give DVD a good first effort from Death Valley Dreams. They join with ‘Turn Out Those Eyes’ and ‘Never Meant For Anyone’ to make Death Valley Dreams a record in whole that a solid debut from Death Valley Dreams and a record that is the year’s first great new EP.
Death Valley Dreams’ debut EP is a solid first effort from the Pennsylvania-based quartet. It is also the year’s first great new EP. The main reason for that is the record’s overall musical makeup. The musical content presented throughout the five-track record present a sound that fans of Cold War Kids and Modest Mouse will enjoy. The lyrical content will have any listener talking with its original approach to each song’s topic. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of Death Valley Dreams. Altogether they make the record’s nineteen-minute run time well worth the time. As a matter of fact, together, they make the record in whole a solid first effort from Death Valley Dreams and the year’s first great new EP. More information on the band’s new EP is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:
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