Valhalla’s ‘Beautiful’ Nudity

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Posted May 24, 2006 by Hearsay in Music

HearSay’s never claimed to be ahead of the curve. Just about every time I go out, someone says to me, “Dude! Have you heard New Band X?” To which I often respond, “Um, no.” “Dude!” the person then says, “You need to check ‘em out – they rock!” And then I feel like an out-of-the-loop jerk.

Granted, since I’m exposed to so much local music through my job, I could stand in any bar and rattle off the names of 10 cool new local bands that no one around me’s ever heard of, but if I’ve missed one happenin’ group, I’ve screwed up. Case in point: A new local indie-rock outfit called Valhalla. Though they are pretty new, they’ve already landed a gig at the Wreck Room with probably the two hottest indie-rock groups in town, Black Tie Dynasty and The Burning Hotels. A simple trio of guitar, bass, and drums, Valhalla has the sophisticated snarl of The Killers, the angular guitar clang of Modest Mouse, and the snappy beatsmithery of, um, The Killers. Like the Hotels, whom you may remember had the same buzz when they exploded on the scene about a year ago, the three guys in Valhalla sound as if they’ve been playing together for years – the boys are that tight. The big rock show is tomorrow (Thursday) at 3208 W. 7th St. (817-348-8303).

… I guess the Wreck’s the place to be this weekend. On Saturday, the Cultural District-area rock club brings in Lazër, three young Dallas guys whose fictional backstory says they’re originally from Germany and only discovered their latent musical abilities by working in a metal factory and smelting in rhythm. The guys perform in Speedos, their sound is disco-metal, and the name of their most recent album is Let Me Dance You. Fun, funny stuff. With Honchie and Hit By a Car.

… I would say, “About time you finished your new full-length, Joey!” But since recent North Crowley High School grad and University of North Texas student Joe K plays every instrument – and really, really well – I can’t come down on him for taking his own sweet time with recording. Churned out at producer extraordinaire Bart Rose’s First Street Audio near TCU, Stuck in a Beautiful Cycle is full of punkish, rocking pop tinged with flourishes of piano and grounded by powerful stickwork. What Joe K does exceptionally well (other than play every friggin instrument) is craft the kind of huge, steely hooks that are both economical and melodic. If you’re taking bets on next year’s Music Awards in the Album of the Year category, you can’t lose with Beautiful Cycle. The Dallas c.d. release party is Saturday at the Curtain Club, 2800 Main St. (214-742-2336), with Union, Villain Vanguard, Darcy, Hugonaut, Valeyra, June’s Descent, and Troubled Mind.

… Don’t forget: The release party for The Theater Fire’s new full-length, Everybody Has a Dark Side, is Friday at Metrognome Collective, 1518 E. Lancaster Av. (817-810-9777). Recommended national show: New old-school, psychedelic, hard-rockers from Olympia, Wash., the five dudes in Nudity are in your face like the best At the Drive-In track, and they groove like the best Moby Grape tune. They’re also at the ‘Gnome, on Sunday.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.


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