The Cherry Valence

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Riffin' Review

by Lisa LeeKing

The Cherry Valence's Riffin' album -- recorded by the infamous Tim Green at Louder Studios in San Francisco -- lives up to its name. Every song -- complete with guitar, drum, bass, and even vocal riffs -- captures the intensity of the group's action-packed live performances. From the high-pitched Lemmy-like vocals on "Sweat, Sweat, Sweat (All Over You)" to the heavy beats created from dueling drum kits, it's apparent the Cherry Valence were road-tight when tracks for Riffin' were laid down. Nick Whitely and Brian Quast share time between drumming and singing, although sometimes they do it simultaneously. Much like 2000's self-titled release on Estrus, Riffin' delivers the goods. It runs the gamut between '70s classic rock and Southern rock, yet the Ampeg-cranked album is head-banging worthy from start to finish. It's a half-hour worth of songs comparable to, if not better than, their debut release's "Lose That Smile" track. It's no wonder they've toured with bands like the Fucking Champs and Tight Bros From Way Back When. In 33 minutes the Cherry Valence pack in as many guitar solos, "eewhs," and Led Zeppelin-esque breakdowns as physically possible. Who could ask for anything more? Certainly not S.E. Hinton, who penned The Outsiders, from which this group was named.

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