Valis: Minds through Space and Time

Minds through Space and Time
(Strange Earth

Valis is a three-piece band from the Pacific Northwest featuring the Conner brothers – Van and Patrick – most notably from their bands Screaming Trees and Kitty Kitty. With Van on bass and Patrick on guitar, the brothers handle the vocals and have Matt Vandenberg handling the drum work.

Minds through Space and Time marks the eighth studio release from the band and their first on Strange Earth Records, which is owned by Van Conner. Like their previous efforts, the new release is dark in that don’t-go-in-the-woods-at-night feeling. The vocals aren’t as downtrodden as their previous work, but the songs do have that signature Northwest  sound with Van Conner masterfully handling his bass while brother Patrick churns out sludgy, powerful guitar riffs. Side note: Patrick Conner is one of the most underrated guitar players from the 1990s.

With songs like “Silent Divinity” and the title track, it’s hard not to compare Minds through Space and Time to Screaming Trees, but Valis takes it a step further, channeling their inner Hawkwind on the track “Space Station” and some 1970s-era Deep Purple on “Evil Possessor.”

At nine songs, Minds through Space and Time might seem like a short player, but it’s not in the least. With the majority of the songs clocking in at nearly five minutes, this is one spacey trip with a side of sludge. But when you have the legendary Jack Endino at the control board, you know how outstanding the production will be. Also of note, Valis brings in a select star power of special guests including Steve Fisk (Pigeonhead), Gary Lee Conner (Screaming Trees), Andrew Davenhall, Ben “Chovie D” Jones, and Harrison Conner.

At eight albums, Valis has quietly brought the rock on a consistent basis and Minds through Space and Time is another prodigious album in their discography.