Thursday, September 28, 2017

Conrad the Band - Valley Fever


2017 –Slepton Records
Release Date : Oct 27, 2017

By Phillip Smith; Sep 28, 2017


Valley Fever, the latest release from Conrad the Band, has completely caught me by surprise, and I’m loving it.  Hailing from Bakersfield, California, and now living in San Francisco, this duo comprised of childhood friends Matthew Shaw (guitar/bass/vocals) and Nick Andre (percussion/synth/production) unveils a six-track masterpiece loaded with bleeding-edge techno, vintage guitars, and hardscrabble stories revolving about a cast of unfortunates.    

A seductive bassline, a hypnotic drum beat, and huge doses of electric fuzzy guitar effortlessly lure me into “Devil’s Gonna Find You”, an intense song with an ominous presence which speaks of junkies and public transportation.  “Food for the Fishes” is beautifully engineered and emits a floaty, cotton-candy sweet melody in Flaming Lips fashion while describing a melancholy dream about parting ways.

A poetic despairing tale of a miserable sad sack in “Teddy”, takes a series of dark turns while exploring end-games ranging from the homicidal to suicidal.  By its finish, my heart is racing.   A chill beat and dreamy synth usher in “One More Smoke”.  This melody about staying awake until dawn with a pack of smokes and a bottle of booze makes for a perfect epilogue for the preceding “Teddy”.  As if drawing musical inspiration from the best of the Seventies television crime dramas, “Poor Davy” blasts a barrage of gritty synth sounds topped off with an extra helping of pimping bass.   Valley Fever ends with a beautiful Velvet Underground-like track about doom and love called “Black and Blue”.

Albeit a short one, clocking in at just around twenty-two minutes in length, this is one cool-as-hell album.  I honestly can’t wait to hear what comes next for Conrad the Band.