If you like your punk rock fast, hard, and unadulterated, you'll love Valley Boys.
People usually take words like “simple” as an insult—it’s as if complexity is considered a good thing in and of itself. Rarely do people stop and think that sometimes it’s actually quite difficult to take a seemingly simple thing and execute it to perfection. Apple pie is a pretty simple food, but making a really spectacular one takes a fair bit of skill.
Drone Attack, the new EP by Toronto punk act the Valley Boys, is a pretty simple punk record. They’re not writing Fucked Up–style rock operas or late-period Black Flag punk-free jazz fusion. They’re not even trying to be METZ, helping punk and indie rock get back together after years of separation. They’re just playing hard, fast punk rock with a strong ’80s hardcore tinge to it. And they’re doing it really well.
There are no songs longer than two minutes—the whole EP is done in 10—but they manage to pack a lot into that short time. Every song is delivered with gut-punching urgency. The drums are a relentless barrage of high-aggression pounding, the guitars sound like they’ve been mated with power tools, and the vocals are a sort of demented bark. It’s amazing. This is real, honest-to-God circle pit music. This is music that commands you to get out there and shove somebody. This is what a punk record is meant to be. The title track and “Down the Hole” both sound like they should have been made in Los Angeles at some point in the early years of the Reagan administration. (To listen to the title track, click on the sample above.)
It’s pretty simple. If you like your punk hard and fast and not at all poppy or arty or post-punk, you’ll really, really like Drone Attack. If you don’t, well, that’s your problem.