Marble Valley - Breakthrough
Marble Valley is the brainchild of Pavement drummer Steve West, and the majority of this new album Breakthrough was conceived while on the road for that band's reunion tour in 2010. The bulk was recorded in one weekend in Amsterdam, with West going on to put everything together from the elements of those sessions.
There are parallels between this and West’s other band, but this is ultimately a bit more varied than Pavement, a quality which works in their favour; ‘Wildlife Free-Zone’ probably bears the closest resemblance to his day job, with its playful half-spoken vocals akin to ‘Stereo’. It’s later in the album however where the new band come into their own, particularly with ‘Delay Cascade’ as it descends into layers of treated electronics, guitar screech and marching drums, or the downbeat crawl of ‘My Siberian Bride’ with its space-age synths and simple, hypnotic guitar melodies and soft bass line. It may take a while for Breakthrough to get going, but Steve West has shown that there’s more to him than just Pavement.