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socal sounds: valley rats

Emerging from the heart of Orange County’s music scene, Valley Rats have stylishly and authentically mastered a unique genre-bending sound that lugs a surf-rock tonality yet equally manages to propel a 1960s psychedelic element all in one exquisite package. Last but not least, the band facilitates a chicano vintage style that’s unmistakable to miss and most importantly, impossible to look away from. 

The band is made up of Armando Fletes on lead guitar, Gonzalo Chairez on keys, Damian Velenzuela on bass, Rigoberto Guillen on drums, David Velenzuela on guitar, and Marcelino Villa on percussion. 

Bred straight from Santa Ana, California and existing as a group for only two full years, Valley Rats have somehow gained rapid attraction from the Orange County community and way beyond with shows all over San Diego and Los Angeles. The band generates a sound reminiscent of Mystic Braves, The Buttertones, and The Beatles during the Sgt. Peppers era. Even with the help of these inspirations in their overall temper, they push the limit of allowing more than one style of sound to influence their discography. The group constantly provides an explosive energy within their live shows that in turn lead to moshes, rockin’ beats to fully groove to while sipping a beer, and an overall good atmosphere thanks to their larger than life psych-rock feel. And if you think any of this is enticing even in the smallest way then trust me, Valley Rats is meant just for you. 

Valley Rats in the last month have released their first self-titled EP which includes tracks such as “Serpent In The Sun” and “Wild Bill” that are not only live show staples, but they also supply a dose of twangy guitar lines, rock-tumbling drums, and piano squalls throughout, which directs the flow of the EP in itself. 

Although we might not be able to see Valley Rats with live shows any time soon due to the current state of the world, we can still bang our heads and jam with earbuds on full blast anytime we want with their latest EP, which is something I’ll gladly be doing for the rest of quarantine. 

You can find their music now on all music platforms, and on Spotify here:

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