Down at its new location on Fruitridge Blvd, Phono Select Records is a fixture for all your vinyl hunting inquiries. With their inventory ranging from indie, hardcore, reggae, punk and every genre you can think of, owner Dal Basi always seems to have something in the racks that will pique your curiosity. Once a week, Basi will pick a release and ask us to spread the gospel of his recent finds. If you like them, and, most importantly, collect, then come down to the store and support!
Sun Valley Gun Club-The Water, The Stars (2018)
The genre of indie rock has become a juxtaposition of so many styles melding together that it is hard to pin down what is the base sound. Many of the core characteristics (i.e. live drums, guitar, bass) are practically gone, replaced by laptops and layered-upon-layered synthesizers. Sacramento’s Sun Valley Gun Club released their sophomore album this year, The Water, The Stars, and they aim to enhance their sound with hooky rhythms and pure, simple guitar rock. On their opener “If You Would Only Wait,” the band comes in with different paces from slow to fast that echo to influences from Pavement to Pixies. The lead vocals and guitar playing of Evan Bailey delivers a haze that’s been missing in this genre for a while, with stand out tracks such as “Falling Apart” and “Years, After All.”
Indie rock, if not being formulaic, often has the notion that the use of the guitar is always changing in a single song. Such as a Pixies song and their loud-quiet-loud reputation signature, the instrument plays with many emotions in one song. Throughout its eight tracks, SVGC’s album recalls to an era when guitar riffs were on the same level of lyrics, where melody creates memories and the simplicity of lyrics has a deeper impact.
Overall, Sun Valley Gun Club made an album that creates different landscapes with melodic indie rock that doesn’t pigeonhole itself to different influences. Just enough to notice but not so much that band doesn’t put their own signature to it. For as long as indie rock has been around, the core of the genre has been about simplicity, innovation, and reinterpretation. The band delivers a solid and memorable piece to Sacramento’s growing indie rock history and will continue to put out more in the future if they keep going down this road.
Words: Jake Monka