Valhalla : Coming home / Through with you (single)
(Neat - 1982)
Category : overlooked
This NWOBHM band (not to be confused with the "Teutonic War Metal' band with the same name) lay at the lighter end of the movement's spectrum. They are actually a Melodic Rock band. Their entire recording catalogue consists of two singles, the other one being 'Jack' / 'Still in love with you'. This is the most interesting of the two.
What's interesting about these two tracks? The music isn't that remarkable really. The presence of synths isn't a standard in NWOBHM, but Valhalla weren't the only ones doing it (nor the first). It isn't the compositions, as the songs are rather simple. It's not the riffs, because there aren't any to speak off really. For the most part the guitar parts are just single chords being struck. It's not the production either, which merely sounds adequate (Neat records was a small label, and not that much money could be spent on production).
So, if at first glance there's nothing there to set the band apart, what the Hell makes this single such an enjoyable listen? Easy. It's because the uncluttered melodic nature of the songs serves as a perfect vessel to deliver the good vocal melodies that are actually the focal part of Valhalla's style.
It's all very straight forward. But so effective. And as I have an unhealthy and quite inexplicable appetite for uncluttered 80's Hard Rock with a Pop attitude (by bands like Sergeant, Statetrooper and Coney Hatch) this single is irresistible to me. I am indeed a simple man for whom simplicity can sometimes be a beautiful thing.