by Mark Anthony Brennan
black valley gospel

Black Valley Gospel is a band whose bark is worse than its bite. They have described their own music variously as “post-apocalyptic death rock”, “post-atomic spaghetti western music” and a cross between old blues and 80’s trash. As intriguing as all of that sounds, none of it’s really true. To give you a better idea, their latest album ‘Mean Old World’ features folk-rock (“The Haunted Sea”), gypsy rock (“The Lobotomist”), psychobilly (“Ain’t I Evil?”) and some Iron Butterfly-style psychedelia (“The Septic Winds of Commerce”). A predilection for heavy fuzzed-out guitar distortion and the occasional screamed lyric is about as metal as things get. So not as scary as they make it sound. That’s not to say that there isn’t a sinister edge or that there isn’t the odd disturbing passage (“wasps built a nest inside your heart”), but overall it’s just good clean carnival-style fun.