CD Review: Death Valley Dreams – “Death Valley Dreams”

The Drama Club, An Albatross, Stardog Champion, Lifer (seriously people, it's time to educate yourself with their 2001 self-titled debut), frontman Nick Coyle has long been able to reinvent himself vocally, a trait which continues with his latest venture Death Valley Dreams, a moody alt-rock outfit he formed along fellow TDC/AA cohort Jon Nova. From the opening words ‘with words like fire underneath your breath’ of opener “Words Like Fire,” Death Valley Dreams is a truly transcendent anthem, one that's emotionally engulfing from start to finish. For Coyle, Death Valley Dreams is a stylistic rebirth; showing just how far he has come since leading Strangers with Candy to a victory on MTV’s Ultimate Cover Band contest, and whether it be nu-metal, post-hardcore or dreamy alt-rock, Coyle is a true vocal chameleon. Death Valley Dreams is sonically immersive to say the very least (“The Darker Years” is full of waves of sweeping synth and soaring atmospherics, “Turn Out Those Eyes” is glossy modern alt-rock, “Take A Look At Yourself” is bouncy and emotional). On morose and melancholic closer “Never Meant For Anyone,” Coyle turns positively gothic, something of a guttural blend of Glenn Danzig and Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. With Death Valley Dreams, 2016 has its first great ep.

Grade: A

Go Download: “Words Like Fire”