If one had to guess where the members of Valleyheart come from based on their musical style, traditionally emo-friendly states like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania might come to mind. Instead, the four-piece—led by Kevin Klein and established in 2016—hails from Massachusetts, a state more known for its upscale colleges than its punk products. Still, there’s a certain East Coast charm to the band that, if nothing else, gives them the confidence and courage necessary to attempt to differentiate themselves.
On Scenery, they explore powerful, accessible soundscapes in an adequately sized package. It may not be an incredibly original or bold statement, but it’s an enjoyable one nonetheless. After the loud “T.I.K.” (which stands for “Thoughts I Keep”), the band travels to a decidedly more calm place, chilling out on the title track and treading through traditional rock structures on “Stepping Stone.” The third track, in particular, is melodically strong, albeit heavy on the distortion. The EP’s fourth and final track, the abstractly named “The Point,” plays much the same as its predecessors, blending more intimate choruses with pleasantly wordy verses. All four songs are simple enough, catchy, and are complemented wonderfully by relatable lyricism.
Overall, Valleyheart doesn’t take a lot of risks in the arrangements contained within Scenery. While that prudence may lend itself to stability and consistency, it doesn’t do a ton in terms of intrigue or originality. Make no mistake, Scenery is a quality record. It’s enjoyable, personable, and undeniably honest. But if trailblazing originality is an important factor in an artist, you’d be best served looking elsewhere. If the goal, instead, is to find a dynamic group with a penchant for thick, impactful, and energetic melodies, Valleyheart is just the band for you.