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Death Valley High: Positive Euth

Wild mood swings from San Fran post-hardcore quartet

They look like early My Chemical Romance and sound like a twisted hybrid of System Of A Down and Thrice, but Death Valley High have completely reinvented themselves from the melodic post-hardcore rockers they once were, swinging from one musical extreme to the next.

Will Haven and Ghostride fans should recognise singer Reyka Osburn, but with DVH he really goes to town, mixing sharp punches of dark pop-punk and brutal screams.

After the chaos of snappy opener Bath Salt Party, the four-piece’s wacky side vaporises in a puff of clove smoke, with whispers of post-punk and third-wave emotional hardcore on the slo-fi Cinema Verite and the Thursday-ish Batdanse. Elsewhere, there’s a whiff of Mindless Self Indulgence on the electro-punkish single How2Kill and even Rob Zombie on the heavy grind of Blood Drive.

Despite this being Death Valley High’s third album, Positive Euth manages to sound as fresh and vibrant as a debut.

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.