Ursus the White Reviews Valley of the Giants' "Westworld"
mike jonze | royal oak, mi | 02/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have the debut album from this collaborative outfit that includes members from some pretty big Canadian names (Godspeed You Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion, Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene, Shalabi Effect, and Strawberry). It's important that you not go into this one expecting something similar to BSS's "You Forgot It In People" or G!YBE's "Lift Your Skinny Fists...", because you won't find anything of that nature here. Regardless, what we have here is pretty impressive in its own right. It seems the foursome went into this project with the goal of capturing the ambience of the "Old West" (just take a look at the cover) and for the most part accomplish that quite well. Five of the eight songs are barren instrumentals that each end up building into something quite a bit more sprawling and grandiose by the end, sending your mind off to a place where tumbleweed traverse the dry desert ground and vultures circle over cactii in search of fallen cowboys. Only three of the tracks on Westworld feature vocals and one is just a story - a compelling account of a cute, little penguin's encounter with a whaling crew, told by a gentleman with a thick French-Canadian accent. Being a polar bear myself, I quite liked this one.
Anyway, as a whole, I thought Westworld made for an interesting experience and one that was well executed, but ultimately there was only one track - the title cut - that I'd want to go back and listen to with any regularity."