VALIS (Head Full Of Pills) CD
Currently, it seems as if Small Stone Records becomes the home of a lot of 70's oriented heavy guitar rock bands, and after the first full-length on Lunasound Recordings VALIS has also signed with Scott's label. The band successfully merge 70's heavy rock, 60's psychedelic and Hawkwind references to create an intoxicating musical vision. Van Conner was the original guitarist of the Screaming Trees and together with his brother Patrick Conner their ability as musicians assures the originality and complexity of the guitar work on this album. "Head Full Of Pills" boasts a number of fine composition that are brimming with tasteful and convincing hooklines such as "Voyager" that draw heavily on early Hawkwind or "Motorbike" , a heavy driving piece that sounds as if AC/DC had taken some magnificent LSD 25.
But the album title is really something like a concept, because the complete album has a very trippy and atmospheric vibe. The softer "Across The Sky" is sheer delight coming close to Syd Barrett's style without copying it while "Ape Canyon" is a massive track with a swinging bulldozing groove and hot, heavy, sweating blues riffs. To sum it up "Head Full Of Pills" is a sonic journey into high intensity heavy psych rock without being too retrospective.Or like Sun Ra once said: "Space is the place". VALIS continuing the tradition of genuine sweaty, spaced-out rock and this is a very addictive release - buy this disc!