Thursday, May 1, 2008

Valet - "Naked Acid" CD

The second solo album from Portland guitarist/vocalist/inner space traveler Honey Owens, 'Naked Acid' is a brilliant piece of twilight psychedelia with some nicely out-there touches. But unlike others (not naming names), she wisely never fully loses sight of the songs themselves - pulling them back in when they wander off too far. Owens' drifty, distant vocals are seemingly pulled from another ghostly dimension, and her guitar is both melodic and ferocious, often at the same time. Pieces like the unforgettably-titled 'Fuck It' are wispy slices of proto-ambient blues, if that makes any sense, with only a spartan drum amidst the layers of guitar noise and lysergically-driven effects. 'Fire' almost returns to Earth (hah) and is as close to a pop-song as Owens is likely to pen, while the closer, 'Streets', boasts some surprisingly jacked-up some drum programming alongside the jagged drones. Astoundingly beautiful and individual work here. (Kranky)

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