Growing up as the middle child between two sisters, life was a series of exposure to music that really…sucked. Musicals were a big thing, followed by boy bands and girl bands, only relieved by a brief phase of The Libertines and My Chemical Romance. It was hell, and made me not care about music too much. That is until Queens of the Stone Age entered my life.
Gritty, dirty guitars soon became an obsession that led to a journey into the desert. The exploration into the deepest depths of the dusk led to the discovery of BIG, MEATY, RIFFS which has retained a spot in my heart ever since. Despite growing a love for music of all kinds, I’ll always be keen to hear more sounds from the desert. Sky Valley Mistress are a four piece from Blackburn, and their debut album Faithless Rituals looks to be the latest inclusion of my heart.
With an introduction from Dave Catching himself, Faithless Rituals erupts into “You Got Nothin’”, a track that immediately floods the airwaves with noise. Beefy guitars conduct serious energy that tears through the ears, gripped by heavy drums and directed by powerful vocals. Fortunately this continues throughout the record, as “Lost In Shock” flies by with a Punk-infused fury.
Like many quality desert artists, Sky Valley Mistress aren’t afraid to drag their songs out into longer performances. The six minutes of “Punk Song” speeds past at high pace, delivering grooves that are packed with hard hitting instrumentation. This ability to make the longest songs entertaining is solidified as the near 11 minute epic of “Blue Desert” becomes one of the album’s highlights. Bluesy, ominous, thunderous…it’s so good.
It’s rare to hear new artists celebrate a sound you grew up loving, but it makes it all the more sweeter when you do. Faithless Rituals is an album that hits hard throughout, and makes for some fantastic listening.