After the success of their debut album Don’t Need Much, Great Cynics return with something some people might be a little familiar with already. Well, sort of: Back when the band was just Giles and his guitar, and no one had even brought up the idea of a name change, he’d recorded some songs that people really dug. In fact they still do dig these songs, and that’s why we have In The Valley – an EP comprised of full-band versions of three original Cynics songs.
Both ‘You’re Alright’ and ’14 Coleman Street’ have been mainstays of Great Cynics’ sets for some time, so it’s great to finally have full band recordings of these already fantastic tunes. Those already fond of Giles’ original recordings won’t be disappointed either. The extra instrumentation only improves on what was already there. A stronger vocal performance from Giles and better production certainly help too.
The same can be said for ‘In The Valley’. The EP’s opening/title track is the only one of the three that might be less familiar to some fans of the band, but I’ve got a feeling that’ll change pretty soon. This too is a massive improvement over the original recording, and it’s really cool to hear Iona lending her vocal talents more prominently than before. And as good as the other two tracks are, I think this might be my favorite of the bunch.
When I first finished listening to this EP (and I’ve listened to it a whole fucking lot!), I had this feeling that this is how Giles originally imagined these songs sounding. He might not have done but, either way, they’ve turned out awesome. Don’t be an idiot. Get this and, if you haven’t already, go and buy Don’t Need Much too!