Valencia - This Could Be A Possibility Record Label: I Surrender Records
Release Date: October 25, 2005; September 19, 2006 (I Surrender re-release)
What makes music special? Is it the fact that it can make the most miserable of people happy, even if only for the duration of a measly three minute song? Or is it that it can cure the soul of the most terrible tragedy? Music means different things to different people, and luckily I've been blessed with a good enough life to be able to listen to music, purely for the appreciation of the art form. I can find beauty in everything from political poetry (i.e. Immortal Technique) to the constantly criticized genre of pop-punk (i.e. Hit The Lights). That being said, I truly think that this Philadelphia quintet can bring a new look and appreciation to pop-punk (Shane Henderson - vocals, Brendan Walter - lead guitar, JD Perry - rhythem guitar, George Ciukurescu - bass, Maxim Soria - drums).
Pop-punk has been getting a bad wrap as of late. Bands like All Time Low are overshadowing "pop-punk gems" like Armor For Sleep and Valencia. Critics take one look at the genre and assume that all of the bands that fall under the pop-punk genre are as bad as its leading faces. Now I am sure that there will be many 13 and 14 year old girls that will read this review in disgust, but it needs to be said. Enough with the neon clothes and whining about the conclusion of three month relationships. GET OVER IT!
Valencia is the cure to pop-punk's image. On This Could Be A Possibility (their debut album), songs like "The Space Between" satisfy pop-punk's fan base with an incredibly infectious chorus, while still appealing to an older audience with some great lyrics. Sorry Jessica, but track two isn't for you; "Que Sera Sera" enters with guitar mangled verses and some sick drumming.
After another fast song, "Tenth Street" (perhaps the best song on the release), starts off slow but kicks in at the start of the first chorus when Henderson's vocals soar as he cries, "Standing out/ On top as the Philadelphia skyline caves in/ Looking out from above/ Iíll tell you what I really do love/ Iíll let you know/
When Iím coming home." I feel such a sense of divine optimism and pride radiating through my body as I sit back and enjoy this song, never to leave my exclusive "All-Time Fav's" playlist.
The album goes back to its edgy roots, until the next standout track in "3000 Miles", a short song with a ridiculously catchy vocal progression. Not to mention the "ooh's and ahh's" in the chorus that just make me smile. After the roughest song on the record in "Back Against The Wall", the album concludes on a high note with "Away We Go", a song far more mature than would be expected of these young men.
This album keeps me hopeful for the future of pop-punk. Valencia produces songs with catchy choruses and lyrical depth that is unmatched in pop-punk today. With another album and a little bit of luck, Valencia has the potential to sky rocket to the forefront of the genre and show the world that like all genres, pop-punk has its greats. They're just a little bit harder to find.
While this review may be a little too gracious for even Valencia, it is definitely a fantastic album. It's been pretty overshadowed by WANARTB, which was fantastic, but this album is just as good if not even slightly better in my book. This one has definitely aged the better of the two for me, I just seem to spin this one more.