Trust me, Butchers of Sky Valley is not what you are expecting. With a band name that already commands a precedence, it’s easy to think that this New York based group is going to melt some faces. But what their music actually does is melt the barriers of psychedelic rock.
According to lead singer Mike Mokotow, a band name shifts once you get to know the music. (Which couldn’t be more true — after all, most of us worship a band called The Beatles). Diving into the repertoire of Butchers of Sky Valley is no exception to this rule. With a bluesy attitude, relaxed and cool 70s inspired vocals, and guitar riffs for days, these guys create a nostalgic feel to their music that sings out to the listener from beginning to end.
Their end goal is to join many elements into one album, not just reciting the same lyrics and recycling the same riffs over and over, but instead transcending above the expected and tossing their listeners a curve ball every once in a while. And though there is a very particular sound across most of their songs, the multiple influences of Butchers of Sky Valley can still be heard.
At times, the music overpowers the vocals – guitars are shredding and drums are beating out movable cadences, while the vocals lazily croon over the top, creating an interesting lesson in contrast. But at the end of the day, lovers of throwback rockers like The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr, and legends such as Fleetwood Mac, will enjoy Butchers of Sky Valley.
Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, Mokotow cites the iconic group as being a heavy influence for him. (Most notably their third studio album, Then Play On.) He also unabashedly discusses the beauty of jazz and blues, and even states that the band’s self-titled album cover is an homage to the “cool, sweet, gritty look” of old jazz records.
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Words can only describe the music so much, so take a listen and let me know what you think. Though this group is based in New York, they have exciting tour plans in the works for 2014. Let’s cross our fingers for some west coast dates!
Butchers of Sky Valley have released their self-titled album, and it’s available via iTunes and all other digital media outlets.