Blackburn based trio Sky Valley Mistress are quite literally making undercurrents in the music scene. Louder Than Wars Paul Scott-Bates finds out why.
I’m originally from Burnley Lancashire, so the prospect of reviewing a group from neighbours Blackburn shouldn’t really be something that I savour but, given that they’re new and young and well, local, I said I’d give them a go. Forgetting the rivalry between our towns, I actually really enjoyed their debut EP which has the great title of The Best Thing You’ve Never Heard. Well, I’ve heard it now so it doesn’t really mean anything, other than it could have been.
They describe themselves as a rock ’n’ roll band & their influences are clearly Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin based. This is slightly ironic as lead singer, Kayley Davies, has a voice very reminiscent of Sandy McKenzie, lead singer with 90s one hit wonders Goldbug, who had a hit with their fantastic version of Whole Lotta Love. The irony doesn’t end there as their track My Time Has Come does have similarities to that track too, a track that starts calmly enough but soon builds into a colossus of a track complete with psychedelic interlude.
EP opener, The Day Of The Lion, is a great start. Davies’ vocals are quite superb and her range and note longevity is very impressive. The drums are loud and key to the track, and the guitars are aggressive. If there’s a downside to the track, it’s the male backing vocals which aren’t conducive to a good listen and don’t seem to compliment the lead vocals at all. Complete with a DJ nightmare false ending, it’s rock meets metal meets pop and is exceptionally good.
Dirty Blonde Blues is as you’d maybe expect, blues based. Again, Kayley’s vocals shine in a song that is particularly suited to her. More blues oriented songs would be interesting from Sky Valley Mistress as it’s something that they do very well. It would also be nice to hear them tackle something slightly slower paced to see if their obvious talents extend even further.
The EP is well produced too so special mention should go to Sean Berry for his work. He’s really brought out the rawness and power of the group.
It has to be said that for a group of eighteen year olds, they show terrific maturity and have plenty of ideas and oomph. They’ve obviously caught the eye of many people too – the inclusion in this years Download Festival endorsing that fact.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.