Valet - Naked Acid
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Naked Acid

In addition to being an occasional member of Jackie O Motherfucker, Nudge, and a couple other bands, Honey Owens was the founder of the venue Dunes and helps run a collective clothing store in Portland called Rad Summer. Oh yeah, and she also releases psyched-out drone music under the name Valet. Naked Acid is her second full-length in as many years on the Kranky label, and it basically picks up where Blood Is Clean left off.

With cover art that resembles the a somewhat-corny long-lost psychedelic rock record from thirty years ago, this seven-song, forty-five minute album is definitely a head trip, as just about every single element on the recording has a heavy dose of reverb or delay. "We Went There" opens the album, and it's like an aural opiate as chimes, hazy guitar work, synths, and vocals from Owen and Adrian Orange mumble through the drifting mix. "Drum Movie" only continues the hallucinatory trip, with layers of droning washes that eventually melt into some soft programmed beats and finally a thick guitar wash and more trippy closing section.

In terms of melodic work, the album centerpieces of "Kehaar" and "Fuck It" are easily the strongest. The former finds Mark Evan Burden joining in on drums for the first of several tracks, and overlapping cascades of guitars and nearly-understandable vocals make it sound somewhat close to early work from Bowery Electric. Burden really makes his presence known on "Babylon 4 Eva," another spaced-out dirge that finds drums breaking off into some freestyle freakouts that add odd punctuation to the murky song. Even with the final song, "Streets" veering off into some electronic beats and slightly brighter sounds, Narcotic, with small doses of noise, Naked Acid is an odd and somewhat inconsistent release. Definitely an acquired taste.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2008-03-06 19:31:43