Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Music Reviews: Val Ventura - "Sun Down California"

Val Ventura is on a mission to bring quality DIY punk rock back to the masses. And to prove that if you set your mind to it, you CAN make creative and special music all on your own, with little help from others. And that message is written all over her new 3 song 7" entitled "Sun Down California".

Val is a rare breed in this day and age of punk rock. Not only does she write and sing all the music on this record, but she also plays drums and guitar. Oh yeah, she also produced it and released it on her own label, Astro Girl Records. The record was recorded back in 2007 at Sonic Iguana Studios with a little help from Mass Giorgini (who plays bass on this release) mixing and Luke McNeill (Copyrights fame) engineering. Other than that, it's all about Val's sunny pop punk tunes. And what gems they are.

                                                                              Photo by: Anastasia Accorsi
Side A kicks off with the title track, a real showstopper of a tune. Very reminiscent of 70's style Ramones. 4 chords, sing along chorus and lots of catchy hooks worthy of a spot in any pop punk fans record collection. The song really has a comfortable flow and feel. It doesn't come off forced or fake at all. Even as the weather is starting to get cold and gloomy, this track brings back the sunny summer days in the form of a song. Brilliant!

Side B starts with "Forgotten", a melodic and faster paced tune that sounds similar to It's A Shame About Ray era Lemonheads. Short and to the point, but happy and enthusiastic in it's approach and sound. This very well may be my favorite track on the album. It's a short tune at only 1:40. But that just means you can have it on repeat for 3 or 4 plays and not get bored with it. A fun tune showing you can put alot of thought into a short track and still make an impact.

                                                                              Photo by: Anastasia Accorsi
Closing out this release is acoustic number "Just Me". This song is very simple but at the same time it's effective. With lyrics about not being what others may want you to be, but finding comfort in your own skin, it's a wonderful song about inner beauty and self confidence. Songs like this never get old in my book. In a world full of fakes and phonies, it's nice to see a strong independent recording artist doing it HER way without holding back. I don't know why it took 5 years for this amazing piece of wax to finally hit the streets...but it was well worth the wait.

 4 ½  / 5 stars 

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