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Valerian Swing - Nights album review

The best Prog you can get this month

Cover art for Valerian Swing - Nights album

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 Kendall

Embracing weird, wild and wonderful sounds, Prog's Associate Editor Jo's also a Classic Rock columnist, an avid tea-drinker and cupcake fancier.