Death Valley Yacht Club is a four-piece band comprised of Chris Prendergast, Kevin Mac, Dan Slater and Vik Makker. The band initially started as a duo with Mac and Slater when they had thoughts of doing something like the Black Keys. As time went on they realized they needed a bassist and eventually found Makker. The last man to join the crew was guitarist Prendergast who took over a lot of the lead work. The band released a five-song EP entitled Live Off The Floor, which contains relatively straightforward rock/pop songs.
One of the things that stood out to me when listening to the EP was the impressive technical ability of the four-piece. They all flex their muscles throughout but it never feels like they are simply showing off. On the contrary their technical prowess often felt artistic and contributed to the benefit of the songs. The music feels clean even though their guitars are distorted and sometimes reminded me of Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Rage against the Machine at times.
Take for instance the first song “Drop In The Ocean” which combines a funky bass and jagged electric guitar. Although the music can bear comparisons to Red Hot Chili Peppers the vocalist sounds nothing like Anthony Keites. I started to notice there is something very ‘80s sounding about the vocalist. Perhaps a bit of Peter Gabriel or even Huey Lewis.
Next up is “Forest For Trees” which was a highlight. The guitar riff bears some resemblance to Franz Ferdinand during the verse but the chorus sounds like a different beast. “Forest For Trees” was immediately catchy and may contain the best vocal performance.
“Good Time” isn’t the band's finest work and for some reason it felt largely forgettable after you listen to it. There is a definite ‘80s vibe with this track, which actually sounds a bit like Journey. “Phoenix” contains some great drum and bass work while “Just Because” has some jam band tendencies.
I get the feeling this band is at their best live. The songs are solid overall but something about it should have felt more visceral. I felt like the hooks weren’t always immediate and took a couple of spins to uncover. Live Off The Floor is a good start but I have a feeling that their best work lies ahead.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook