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USX – The Valley Path


The Valley Path is a spiralling one track mini-album that last just under 40 minutes (that would have been a full length album in the old vinyl days). The track opens with doom laden three note riff with sad sounding vocals that put it more in the vein of Boris and Om as it sludges its way to a wonderful psychedelic guitar solo that sonically uplifts the piece. Underlying string sounds begin to lift it from the dirge so that begins to blaze at nodal points and begins its forward momentum and the vocal becomes more powerful and almost angry.

Ten minutes in and the track breaks down into a dessert blues sound that is part of the USX style. Whirling synth and echoed guitar open up the sonic vistas to feel like they represent azure skies and drifting tumbleweed across a barren landscape. Triumphant guitar and drums kick back in to give an image of speeded up film of night stars freefalling over cactus standing sentinel in the melding sands.

Twenty minutes in and the guitar shimmers and stutters as the whirling wind keyboards begin to abate. A certain stillness hangs over the track, an odd wail of guitar and a bird-type sound reminiscent of Pink Floyds Echoes. Then powerful bluesy riffs and a steady heavy drum beat lets the echoed lead soar as the track punches back into a riff-led heavy section. This falters back to that desert guitar riff and again we are left in the open space of landscape. Over this the vocals slowly slide back in and hang in an air of melancholy that pervades the track. This builds into the tracks veritable apotheosis of an uplifting ending that leaves you wanting more. I hope this is a sign of the content of USX’s next album and hopefully them venturing to these shores to play this live.

-Gary Parsons-

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