Album review: Value Void

Value Void - Sentimental (Tough Love)

Value Void.

Value Void.

THERE HAVE been many terms coined over the ages to describe falling in, and being in, love, so it is some achievement for London based trio Value Void to have come up with a new one.

'I'm so teen for him! I'm so teen for him' is the key refrain on one of the best songs of this impressive debut. As a description of an unexpected giddy rush of mental and physical sensations caused by encountering a new person, it's pretty good, especially as English is not the first language of band vocalist Marta Zabala.

Value Void are Argentinians Zabala and Paz Maddio and Englishman Luke Tristram and Sentimental is a stripped down, bare bones guitar/bass/drums, mix of Velvet Underground chord progressions, spiky post-punk riffs, and indie melodies and sensibilities. The minimalism is no barrier to a strong sense of dynamics - witness the crashing cymbals on the chorus of 'La Tramps', which stop suddenly, giving the return of the central guitar riff greater force and urgency, or how 'Back In The Day' switches between nervy, tight, riffing, and looser, more relaxed chords - as the trio explore the lives of emotional and social lives of contemporary 20-somethings.

There is also a very strong melodic and left-field pop sensibility at work here. 'Babeland' and 'The Deluge' boast clever, sophisticated, choruses more mainstream acts would have killed to have written. Value Void manage to create them without compromising their indie and post-punk approach. An understated debut, all the better for it, and one to be welcomed very warmly by indie fans.

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