Valerian Swing - Nights album review

The best Prog you can get this month

Cover art for Valerian Swing - Nights album

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Need something to raise the spirits? Preferably featuring three Italians and some knotty, near-instrumental math-rock with über-euphoric oomph? Hello Corregio’s Valerian Swing. On album number four they’ve swapped out their bassist for baritone guitarist Francesco Giovanetti and whomped up the brightness and contrast settings, dipping into experimental pop territory – and some proper vocals – alongside their usual noisy, guitar-led excursions.

Mixing engineer Matt Bayles – a man who knows his way around Mastodon, Russian Circles and Isis – is back for a second stint, and his technical wizardry is clearly evident on Four Horses, where bombast, composition and melody merge beautifully (giving scene kings And So I Watch You From Afar some dramatic competition). Digital effects and textures also add expansion – there’s a slightly distracting moment at the start of Five Walls where you wonder if your telly has flipped over to Casualty – propelling a tuneful and dynamic leap forward for the young trio. Mozzafiato!

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.