Valley of Rain [25th Anniversary Edition]

Valley of Rain [25th Anniversary Edition]

by Giant Sand
     
 

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The dry, dusty, and rambling sound that became Howe Gelb's trademark isn't much in evidence on Giant Sand's debut album, 1985's Valley of Rain. Instead, this early edition of the band recalls the distaff branch of the Paisley Underground scene that was still a big part of the Los Angeles scene when Gelb arrived there from Tuscon, as…  See more details below

Overview

The dry, dusty, and rambling sound that became Howe Gelb's trademark isn't much in evidence on Giant Sand's debut album, 1985's Valley of Rain. Instead, this early edition of the band recalls the distaff branch of the Paisley Underground scene that was still a big part of the Los Angeles scene when Gelb arrived there from Tuscon, as if Giant Sand were the oddball high desert cousins of Green on Red. Valley of Rain is tougher and scrappier than much of what Giant Sand would release later on, and it rocks noticeably harder, though Gelb's sense of lyrical wanderlust is very much evident here, and even when the guitars wind up and the drums crack, the melodies drift on and off path with an expressive glee. The band's slightly warped country influences are all but invisible here (perhaps because Gelb and his pals were cutting a Blacky Ranchette album around the same time), and Valley of Rain sounds more sharply focused than the typical Giant Sand album. Gelb and his partners -- bassist Scott Garber and drummers Tom Larkins and Winston A. Watson, Jr. -- sound admirably tight and together, considering this lineup fell together at the last minute before these sessions began, and the album was recorded on the fly for a mere four hundred bucks. Valley of Rain isn't classic Giant Sand, but it's a strong and confident starting point and it has weathered the test of time rather well: "Tumble and Tear," "Down on Town," and "Death, Dying and Channel 5" are forceful and idiosyncratic rockers, while "Artists" and "October, Anywhere" give a clue to where Giant Sand would go in the future. In a long journey full of fascinating detours along the way, Giant Sand's first album was a rocking pit stop that's lively, smart, and full of nerve.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/2010
Label:
Fire Uk
UPC:
0809236116222
catalogNumber:
162

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Giant Sand   Primary Artist
Chris Cacavas   Piano
Scott Garber   Bass,Harmony
Howe Gelb   Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Tom Larkins   Drums
Winston A. Watson   Drums
Mary Wehner   Background Vocals
Lisa Vernon   Guitar

Technical Credits

Steve English   Engineer
Ron Goudie   Executive Producer
Eric Westfall   Producer,Engineer
Scott Garber   Producer,Cover Photo
Howe Gelb   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Rick Novak   Engineer
James Nicholls   Package Concept
John Foster   Sleeve Design
Taylor Smith   Engineer
Gina Kang   Sleeve Design

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