20 Jun 2021
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Valleyside Boys - EP Review: 3 Pack

21 Oct 2020 // A review by Sam Verlinden
I do enjoy collaborations - I’m a firm advocate for their power and ability to bring together different flavours, fan-bases and ultimately, different worlds. Valleyside Boys are one of these collectives, in an era which is seeing an increase in such collectives (YGB, 0800, BLKCITY, Y$O, YKK). In all honesty it’s my first time leaping into the world of Valleyside Boys, it’s cool doing research and seeing what young independent creatives are curating with their people.

Bringing together the different strengths and talents of Almac, Kimz, Scally, Lij, Dharmarat (shout outs to his new project Belial) & Hor. Valleyside Boys bring us their newest project of tracks that didn’t quite crack their upcoming EP. Titled: 3 Pack, or otherwise referred to as "3 songs we love but don't fully gel with the project. So, we thought they'd go well as a little pack for our listeners."

The project reflects the underground hip hop scene which is bound for greater ascension in the next few years. Lo-fi esque prod with a sense of grunt and rawness to the lyricism and delivery. There’s no American accent to be found here.

Kicking off with Freddie Merc; this track is smooth, each emcee showcases their flows and pen-game as they spit about working for the weekend, reminiscing about their home-town (the last verse is my favourite) and rolling with the homies. It’s a solid opener - but I wish they’d modulated the guitar sample to the same key as the other sounds, it clashes with the flute/bell sound which carries the loop.

KIMZ (which features up and coming emcee, Deadforest), is probably my favourite track on this project. The trumpet/flute/live band samples are dope - I can tell they had fun making this one. I can also definitely see it popping off at a live show. Lyricism and delivery again is clean (perhaps maybe a little uninspired) as the crew delivers a performance reminiscent of NZ emcee Dirty. 'Frankton’s finest' is back at it again. Deadforest employs an off-beat UK grime-esque flow which offers a nice change of pace for KIMZ. Good track, "nothin' nah jack" seki.

Easily Distracted has the most distinctive and prominent hook of the three tracks. The beat here is the most layered and varied of the project. Wherever Dharmarat (or whoever else) found this 70’s RnB jazz sounding sample (which sounds like something George Benson would do) is very cool. Excellent work piecing it together. Again, the emcees piece together a nice 4-minutes of lyricism and kick-back delivery. "Not much effort and not much thought, I guess I’m distracted" - very slick. I wish they’d done something to bring some more variation though (maybe room for a beat switch).

Ultimately, 3 Pack is a tidy piece of work from Valleyside Boys. Authentic, genuine, kick-back, gritty and smooth are some of the words I’d use to describe it. While there are some moments that could do with some more unpredictability and variation, this collective has a lot of potential and talent and it’s a nice prelude to their upcoming project. Would 100% be keen to see these guys live. I can imagine it being wild.


3.5/5

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About Valleyside Boys

Valleyside Boys (VSB) first formed in 2017. Their music is raw and relentless. These guys really have nothing to hold back and have a lot to say.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Valleyside Boys

Releases

3 Pack
Year: 2020
Type: EP
V.S.B.B.Q
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Vol. 2
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Vol. 1
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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