By Will Yannacoulias
Saskatoon’s Valley Bandits describe themselves as a punk band, a label that serves to challenge listeners as much as guide them. On their self titled debut EP, Valley Bandits have forged a distinct sound, convincingly capturing and channeling the frantic, chaotic bounce of their live show. Adam Swalm’s meanderingly hyper-melodic guitar leads collide with the ragged jangle of Shea Goyer’s rhythm playing, while bassist Brendan Swalm and drummer Brett Lindsay build a dense, relentless wall of barely bottled energy. The result is a fast, fun album of breakneck jams that threaten to shake themselves apart with their own frenetic momentum.
I spoke with Goyer shortly after Valley Bandits’ March 3rd release party at The Capitol Music Club. I had to ask about the band’s sound, that fast-paced jam vibe that can only come from chemistry and familiarity. “It’s definitely a result of years of playing and experimenting together” Goyer shared. “Adam, Brett and I have played in various bands together for over a decade at this point. We're influenced by a variety of sounds but the frenetic jumping back-and-forth came from a dumb idea I had to start a band that sounded like early Beatles in the verses of songs and like Nirvana or some other noise rock band during the choruses.”
So much of what makes Valley Bandits great is embodied in their live show. The fevered speed, the near-overwhelming wall of melodic chaos absolutely define the songs. Those traits can be challenging to capture in the studio, but Matt Stinn at the Rainy Day Recording Co. succeeded in translating that energy to the EP. Goyer assured me that Rainy Day was their natural first choice. “Matt is a personal friend of mine as well as someone who has supported our band right from the start. As artists it was important for us to work with someone who both understood our sound and had experience producing all sorts of music. Matt fit the bill to a T and we couldn't be happier with how the EP turned out.”
The Valley Bandits debut EP, in all it’s frenzied fuzzy glory, is available on all streaming services now. The band is looking forward to announcing a busy summer of club and festival dates.