Pop Matters offers up 2 cents on Damian Valles’ ‘Skeleton Taxa’
Valles has been jumping from one genre to another––math rock, post-rock, ambient, punk––for more than a decade now. The Canadian musician has landed on something that feels like ambient, but which he says is more concerned with structured tunes and melodies—song stuff—than his past solo stuff. How is it? At times reminiscent of the dark, spooky stuff put together by Norway’s Ulver, albeit without the overwhelmingly depressive edge, the record’s perfect in its ambient ambitions, and pretty good otherwise. “Bell and Arc”, which features vocals from Valles’ wife Heidi Hazelton, is inarguably the best here and makes you wish there were one or two more like it.