By Shane Douthwaite
Bands like Valvekasta are a reviewer’s nightmare. We live and breathe on filling pages with line-upon-line of scripture and using more elongated and obnoxious phrases than an angry Stephen Fry furiously trying to tell Dappy how much of a twat he really is. But with Valvekasta you can’t do this. And you know why? Because they are one thing and one thing only; stripped down Rock and Roll. And I fucking love it. Anyhoo, on with the show…
The opening track on Take the Bait is Can’t Go Away. A hard hitting raw edged rocker, it really sets the tone well for the rest of the album. I especially like the way that Fraser’s drum beats smash their way to the front of the mix at just the right moment to make the buildup moments even more epic.
Next up is one of my favourite songs by a local band I’ve ever heard - My Shift. The opening lyrics of “Walking down the street on a Saturday night/with a pizza in my hand, I was doing alright.” set over a chopped chord riff reminiscent of AC/DC really sets the scene for the song. The borderline genius lyrics tell a tale similar to Free’s ‘All Right Now’, which is ace in my books. I love the cocky swagger and nostalgia that this track emits, especially the tongue-in-cheek lyrics that were obviously sung with a wry smile in the second verse.
Third track on the album is entitled Band Stuff. A stand out feature is the gang vocals in the chorus which match the under-lying chord progression note for note. Sadly this is the only thing that really stood out for me on this track.
Money kicks off with a Thin Lizzy-esque duel guitar riff and slams into another with a smooth transition. The verses are well thought out and build up to the pre chorus brilliantly. The chorus on this track is extremely addictive and excessive exposure to it will probably lead to it being implanted in your mind indefinitely. (You have been warned.) The chemistry between Gary and Ian’s guitar work is unearthly and is so clear on Money.
Next, Be Your Lover is as close to a love song as you get from these guys. Kicking off with Fraser (drums) laying down a path for Matt’s smooth bassline to walk down. As always withValvekasta the chorus is huge and will have you singing along in no time.
Get My Way is a Hard Rock Guitarmageddon Showcase. Even with only two short verses and barely even a chorus this song still manages to last for 4 minutes. From 2:20 until 3:05 Eddie Van Halen ’erupts’ in jealousy. See what I did there?
Track 7, Things to Come is an instrumental. With a main solo riff that Running Free would be proud of and amazing soulful guitar work this track is a good listen.
To finish the album is the foot tapping, sing along rocker Because I’m Young. With a big chorus and great lyrics this song is a great end to a great album.
Take The Bait is Valvekasta’s debut album and comes in a digi-pack format with a personalised hand-written note slipped inside which reads:
Take the bait
So before I’d even taken the disc out of the case I had taken the bait. Hook, line and sinker.
Devil Horn Rating: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/