If there's such a thing as October Days Lite, then Valley of Kings could be it. The same brooding melodies, the same murky half-whispered vocals, the same surfy guitar parts and stinging basslines... Valley of Kings has 'em, only theirs are not nearly as dazzling or as interesting, of course. Still, had I known this, I might've given "Victory Garden" a few extra spins back in the day, but Valley of Kings weren't at all what I wanted to listen to in 1985 when this LP first came out, as I was neck deep into hardcore at the time. I did run an ad for "Victory Garden" in my zine that year, though that was only because Incas was also involved with putting out some C.I.A., 76%, and Lost Generation records (in fact, I think I traded the ad space for a copy of the second Lost Generation LP).
Not all of "Victory Garden" moves with any sort of October Days-style punk tempos, though; a good amount of this has the pall of early R.E.M. jangle hanging over it, as did most college rock back in those days, and it seems that Valley of Kings themselves weren't fully invested in the "rock" songs on this record, as they buried most of them on the b-side. In any case, this is still a fairly interesting document if you're at all interested in the '80s New Haven-area indie rock scene (you know-- The Grotto, Miracle Legion, Dumptruck, Bleached Black, "Some New Ruins", stuff like that), which may or may not be all two or three of you, who knows. Plus you get to check out the wonderfully arid production which passed for a good recording back then.
Valley of Kings -
(these files are now listen-only)
"Where Have You Gone?"
"Today You're Laughing"
For anyone who wants a bigger chunk of this record, here are
all 9 (of the 12) tracks that I ripped in one file: