With a DIY ethic UK Punk Rockers Valensole are hoping to bring back the bite many say Punk Rock used to have, and for a band that only formed in the early part of 2016, their debut EP Where We Should Be is a great contender to do that. Being released in March of next year the band plan to accompany it’s release with a tour, which definitely will be worth checking out. Without further a do lets break down this EP.
Opening this debut EP is Staple Waster, a track which should be giving the band a chance to impress early and to some extent it does, not vocally but instrumentally. Through this track the band seem to be drawing from some of their influences as musicians as there is this almost early Green Day vibe presented with a more modern twist. This is a good opener for the EP but doesn’t seem to do the band justice just yet.
Don’t Follow Me is ‘punk-fuelled’ indeed and does allow the band to show what they are made of and although the instrumentation continues to be very strong, vocally Valensole still didn’t deliver. Unfortunately Don’t Follow Me is possibly the weakest track on this entire release, which is somewhat a shame as with it’s short run time there is some potential for the track to have been the punk filled song many would have been looking for, but for a few reasons this track seems to miss the mark.
Opening with a very juxtaposing guitar lead Believe comes crashing in to the foreground with it’s blistering guitars and beats, this track is good vocally and with the slight moments of screamed vocals it adds a dynamic to the band which hasn’t been shown quite yet and is quite a welcomed change from the first two tracks. Overall this track is a great calling card for the band as they move through this EP at a very fast pace.
The title track of this debut is by far the highlight of the EP, with not only the best vocal performance on the record but the track encompassing this raw energy the band are putting in to this debut. Through the fast paced guitar and blasting drums there is almost a reminiscence of Dookie in the track. Alongside this being the best track on this release, there is a chance that this could be the track to take the band to great places as it does bring some of the bite back to what Punk Rock has somewhat been missing as of recent years.
Closing off this 5 track debut is Inside Out and although it isn’t the best song on this release there is something clear about this EP; it gets stronger the further you get in to it. Inside Out is a great closer to this EP as instrumentally it is exciting and vocally it is good, especially when the band introduce more screams in to the mix. It may be the last track, but you’ll most likely be playing it multiple times before the album gets put down. Overall this track allows the band to show what they are truly made of and the potential they have for the future.
Unfortunately this debut EP narrowly misses the mark, despite it getting stronger towards the end. Although there are high moments instrumentally throughout the entire record, the vocal performances feel to be lacking. Valensole however have the possibility for a very bright future, as for those who are Punk Rock connoisseurs there is many things that can impress, and if they use this as a jumping point for the future they have the energy and passion to do it. On top of that there is a sense through this EP that the recordings may not do them justice in comparison to a live show. But, at least for now, Valensole aren’t landing these punchy tracks in the way it seems they intended.