Friday, May 27, 2011

USX - The Valley Path


The Valley Path is your local bar's alt-country band, in the aftermath of some tragedy, jamming,  having just discovered both pot and Black Sabbath.

US Christmas (USX) are Allison Krause gone stoner/dark psychedelic rock. Discerning minds might have already postulated this, seeing their logo, aka the "deer ouroboros."

It's one song, 39 minutes long. Like Sleep's Dopesmoker. Or Roareth's Acts I-VI.

Not a true 39-minute epic, like Roareth, not a great 5-minute song the band was too stoned to stop playing, like Dopesmoker--  it's more of a 39-minute remix of a single.

There's surprisingly little hyperbole, though, to the above metaphors-- there's all sorts of "non-metal" instruments, which totally work, there's a violin/fiddle in there, a female singer who tends to just double/harmonize with lead singer/guitarist Nate's vocals... listening to it late at night in the dark is intensely soothing, as different instruments come and go, and it remains nearly silent for stretches of a minute or so at a time....

Sounds like it could've been improvised...? Are USX the laziest jam band in the world? I dig it.

The Valley Path transmits a feeling of isolation, of a dimly-hopeful solitude, like nothing's around you now but something good might be coming-- like looking out to see at night, with a CB radio you hope with come back with someone's voice on it....

Great? Definitely not. But definitely very good.

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