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Independent Weekly: “Valient Thorr’s hard rock cosmology comes down to earth”

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A few things’ll be changing around here soon, all for the better (which means less lame links to freelance stuff and more actual content), but for right now, let me direct you to a couple of things. First, my brief teaser for Little Brother’s probably last show in their home state. For real–Phonte and Pooh should teach classes on breaking-up all classy-like and in a sense, giving their fans what their fans want, whether those fans even know it or not.

Also, did this piece on Chapel Hill, NC’s Valient Thorr, who are the kind of band it’s easy to dismiss or laugh-off but are in fact one of the weirdest, most determined, out-there, kinda metal groups around. Quick rant: As the interest in metal from supposedly hipper more “indie” type places grows, it’s avant-garde qualities are pretty much all that anybody talks about: How black metal is like noise. How doom is like drone. How hard rock is like punk. The result is a kind of washing away of all these super-influential, no bullshit bands that work or worked within a typical metal song construct (Fu Manchu, Sleep (other than Jerusalem), Electric Wizard, Masters of Reality, etc.) and indeed, are why bands can now so casually and easily send noise through their amps for hours on end and people stand and watch it. Look, it’s cool and all, but if one more hipster metal or “genuine” metalhead makes fun of post-rock or laptop shows and then tells me how awesome that Boris show was, I’ll cry. The point is, plenty of people see these bands or care about them, but they sorta fall off the edge of “indie” credibility and interest and they surely don’t give a fuck, but metal N00bs please know your history. Anyways, Valient Thorr are very much in this vein. They don’t need to add bagpipes or synthesizers or stretch their songs out to forty minutes to get the job done. They do weird, off-kilter stuff with simple garage rock effects and the urgency of lead singer Valient Himself sends it over the top and they wrap all their basic, heavy influences around a really vibrant, bizarro “We’re from space” concept that allows them to scream about politics and the state of the nation and not come off like dicks. Read my piece here:

In a jean vest with no shirt and bright red wrestling shoes, Valient Himself—the fearless, bearded and wild-eyed leader of Chapel Hill-via-Venus hard rock maniacs Valient Thorr—races to the supermarket on an emergency beer run. His main concern is the legion of parched, patient friends and fans (called “Thorriors”) who’ve come out to a Chapel Hill farmhouse on a Thursday afternoon. The band is making its video for “Double Crossed,” the first single from its fifth and latest album, Stranger.

“Double Crossed” is Valient Thorr—guitarists Eidan and Sadat Thorr, bassist Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees, drummer Lucian Thorr and, of course, Valient Himself—very much in their element. A punky but metal-proficient political manifesto chant-along, “Double Crossed” takes aim at the crooked money men and scheisty investors responsible for our economic ruins. The complaint, though, comes in fun, spy movie-treasonous terms.

The video is “a tribute to a lot of old music videos,” meaning the on-the-fly, goofball videos of MTV in its youthful, sincere days. On the way back to the shoot, cases of beer rattling in the backseat, Himself explains that the video is meant to invoke the silly anarchy of Twisted Sister and a rather obscure 1984 movie, The Wild Life. “It’s a fuckin’ terrible movie, but it’s got a really awesome scene where they break down a wall.” For this prattling, philosophizing frontman, the fuckin’ terrible part matters much more than the really awesome part…

Written by Brandon

September 2nd, 2010 at 5:13 pm

One Response to 'Independent Weekly: “Valient Thorr’s hard rock cosmology comes down to earth”'

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  1. Word on the Electric Wizard mention.


    7 Sep 10 at 10:08 am

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