The Show: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Valhalla

Most rock bands develop respect not by fancy book-learniní but by playing holes-in-the-wall for peanuts.

Then thereís Valhalla, a new local indie-rock three-piece whose members studied at Berklee College of Music, probably the most respected school in the country. (No offense, UNT.) Their educational pedigree may have had something to do with their recently landing gigs at some of North Texasí finest rock establishments. But itís not all. Bassist J.B. Andrews, drummer David Greenbaum (the only band member who graduated), and singer-guitarist Austin Jenkins are sharing bills with the likes of Black Tie Dynasty, The Burning Hotels, and The February Chorus and are playing reputable venues for one chief reason: The music rocks.

The bandís sound is raw and gritty, yet it somehow also has an unaffected lyrical bite that probably canít be replicated by intuitive (read: untrained) players. Thereís a moment in one of the Weatherford trioís barn-burners, ďStop Your Heart,Ē when Jenkins taps out a few bars of a short, colorful phrase thatís more prog-rockish and John Scofield-ian than sloppy and hopelessly indie.

Which brings up a good point: Indie-rockers arenít as appreciated for their technique as much as their sense of melody and rhythm, taut lyricism, and ability to convey emotion. Too bad for other burgeoning indie-rock bands in town, the guys in Valhalla have those intangibles down, too. Jenkinsí voice has that masculine, í80s Brit-pop edge thatís common to a lot of indie frontmen, but he never sounds anything less than self-assured. Being wishy-washy, his vocal tone seems to say, is for wimps.

The three musos moved to Fort Worth about six months ago after Jenkins purchased a Weatherford warehouse that heís since converted into a recording studio. The bandís debut, an eponymous five-song e.p., will be ready for this weekendís shows, Friday in Austin at Emoís and Saturday here at The Wreck Room.

ó Anthony Mariani

Sat w/Black Tie Dynasty, Faux Fox, and For Those Who Know at The Wreck Room, 3208 W 7th St, FW. 817-348-8303.


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