Vales are another of that new breed of hardcore bands that labels such as Holy Roar, Tangled Talk, Pink Mist & Moshtache Records etc are doing a brilliant job of promoting at the moment. We take a closer look at the band & fill you in on why we like them so much.
The hardcore ‘scene’ has been given a new lease of life recently, thanks in part to the erstwhile work of the above mentioned labels as well as to some brilliant new bands appearing on the scene. These new bands have helped fuel excitement in the genre and, in turn, encouraged more people to start forming bands. One of the newer bands who fall into this category are Vales.
A lot of these new bands come from the South Coast of England, in Vales case Cornwall which has quite the flourishing hardcore scene going on atm.There’s been an awful lot of chatter about Vales recently, especially on Tumblr, & with good reason. I first got wind of them several months ago but I’ll be the first to admit I was late to the party. They’re one of those bands who come to peoples attention largely through word of mouth but despite that they’ve become well enough known now that another more established band, called, coincidentally, Veils as well, threatened them with legal action if they didn’t change their name. Annoying but at least by changing their name from ‘Veils’ to ‘Vales’ they’ve retained the power of pronounciation. Or summat.
Gonna get the elephant in the room out into the open nice and early – they’re that rarity in hardcore cirlces, a band with a woman in it, namely Chlo Edwards. (And yuup, I know it ain’t totally unique as anyone who’s ever followed this blog will know but still I guess unique enough that people see fit to mention it). Anyway, that’s that over, can now get on with a more astute & more pertinent description of the band.
Chlo fronts the band & is a powerful presence as such. Live she dominates the stage (and floor) as well as just about any band frontsperson I’ve seen, striding & confrontational. When I saw Vales in Bristol a couple of days ago (supporting the far more established Suis La Lune who they totally blew away) – Chlo’s voice was the worse for wear having been on the road for a few days but there was no way that was going to stop her. Between occasional swigs on a honey bottle she put her whole self into the performance, screaming & shouting out the lyrics & only once (jokingly) asking for assistance from the audience. Definitely no wimping out here.
As for the rest of the band they play like they’ve been at it for years. There were some seriously professional & adept pace changes, from pounding assault to pummeling grind to all out riff city. Proper instrumentation, this isn’t just mimicry of some of their favourite artists as you’d expect from most bands who’d only been playing together for such a short length of time, this is quite definitely & quite specifiaclly Vales; intense, cerebral, ballsy & emotional. It’s not all anger & mindless noise though, you’ll also find melodies lurking away under all the power & emotion. Like I said, clever stuff. The lyrics deal largely with the politics of the personal & one can but imagine that if they were making music for cathartic reasons then whatever it was they were trying to relieve themelves of would fly in the face of this assault.
Although it’s probably safe to say Vales live bests Vales recorded (fttb anyway – I eagerly await to see what future releases hold in store for us) I’d definitely say that if you have any kind of appreciation of hardcore (or have had at any time in your life) then you really need to find room in your record collections for something by Vales. Visit their Bandcamp where you can either buy the brilliant EP that was released in January (stream a track below) Clarity or Our Enlightenment Is Dead.
And it probably goes without saying but if you get a chance to see them live don’t pass it up. They tour a lot (over 100 shows in around a year) so chances are they’ll be playing near you soon.