Saturday 4 February 2017

Val Cale - Black Stuff (EP Review)

Release date: February 1st 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Black Stuff – Tracklisting

1.Two People in the Dark 03:46
2.She Far Out 03:21
3.Mock Moon 03:42
4.Long Time Dead 02:09
5.Docile 04:41

Band Members

Tom Lister - Main Vocal / Lead Guitar
Henry Smith - Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Shafiq Dufrene - Bass Guitar
Sam Hamer - Drums


Val Cale debut EP – Black Stuff – is a Psychedelic/Stoner Rock record with the mood firmly rooted in Blues Rock. The EP has a slight bleak mood but that allows Val Cale to play heavy based blues.

Opening track – Two People In The Dark – has a feel of band who have been playing this kind of music for decades. As it's expertly written and played throughout. Shades of Sabbath and Pink Floyd appear at times. So expect moments of 60s/70s Psychedelic Blues/Stoner Rock. Tom's vocals take a few moments to warm up but put in a superb performance.

Second track – She Far Out – opens with a slowly played psych riff with moments of blues rock being the main factor. Val Cale show their love and appreciation for all things 60s/70s classic rock again. It's another excellent song from the band and one that contains a few heavy riffs to lose yourself in.

Now I'm going to be critical of the following two songs Mock Moon and Long Time Dead. The songs are perhaps the weakest parts of the EP. As they're too slow for their own good. I was expecting something more fast-paced. Though the songs are superbly played with some cool lyrics as well.

Final track – Docile – sees Val Cale return to the heavier sounds of the opening two tracks and perhaps the standout track on the EP. This is where the Stoner Rock influence comes into play and it's glorious. I feel that Val Cale were inspired by Nirvana for this song especially with the bass and Tom's vocals.

Black Stuff is a very good EP indeed and I can see these guys making a name for themselves within the Blues/Classic Rock scene when they've released a few records.

Words by Steve Howe