CD Review: Wings of Valkyrie “Exploding Hearts”

San Antonio, Texas-based Punk Rock band Wings of Valkyrie came together as a band back in 2010. Choosing their name because of liking what the Norse legend of the Valkyries was about, the band created a sound that incorporated many different elements into the band’s Punk Rock music. And with bands such as Green Day, The Misfits, Taking Back Sunday as well as No Doubt and Red Hot Chili Peppers all being musical influences, you can tell that the band’s sound is not going to be boring. And with The Misfits and the elements of Horror of that band’s music being included in the influences to the music of Wings of Valkyrie, it comes as no surprise that the San Antonio band would create a few songs within their playlist of original material that also contain a strong Horror influence. But that horror influence is only a small part of the band’s overall writing style.

The original lineup for Wings of Valkyrie came together back in 2010. Through the years that have followed, several lineup changes have hindered the progress of the band. Because of ever-changing lineup of the band, Wings of Valkyrie have only produced a total of two albums in the years since 2010. The latest album from Wings of Valkyrie, the eight-song release of Exploding Hearts, was released earlier this year in April. For this release, founding members Valdeezy and MiK! settled on creating the album on their own, bringing in another member to play the bass when the band performs live. As a result, the band’s Exploding Hearts album features Alex “Valdeezy” Valdez on Drums and Mikael “MiK!” Lopez on Guitars/Bass/Vocals.

Exploding Hearts from Wings of Valkyrie begins with the track “Restless”. The track features a rather laidback musical approach for the first thirty seconds before the band launches the song into full throttle. The track’s music is fully punk-flavored with only a little Pop flavor added in. The lyrics of the song is where the track separates itself from most other Punk Rock songs. Within the lyrics, Mik! sings of coming out of the grave and trying to make his way in a world that has since passed him by. The song of “Restless” is radio-friendly while still containing enough harshness to satisfy any hardcore Punk music fans.

For the track “Where Were You?” Wings of Valkyrie adopts more of a straight-forward Punk sound for their song. That more straight-forward Punk flavor on the music matches up well with lyrics that contain a great deal of angst as well as anger towards the world. The track’s lyrics deal with the singer coming to terms with the fact that no one was there when he was down and out and really needed the help. “Where Were You?” is a great Punk track that contains a no-nonsense vocal delivery from MiK! as he tries to release his anger before it gets the better of him.

Sometimes, the influences that appear in the music from Wings of Valkyrie are very apparent. On the song “Goodnight Moon,” the band launches into a song that has the same sound and feel of something that could easily have come off of an album from Green Day. In fact, the Punk music on “Goodnight Moon” as well as the Pop-like approach of the music itself would easily have fit onto any of Green Day’s albums. The track begins with a light touch on the music before the band bumps up the energy and the song really takes off. The track is a nice mix of Pop feel and Punk mentality. And to add to that Pop feeling, the song also features the background vocals from Jenny Luna, the same woman who contributed the artwork to the album. “Goodnight Moon” is one track on the Exploding Hearts album from Wings of Valkyrie that will definitely feed your desire for Punk music.

If you create a band that makes Punk music, you need to create songs that draw from the real Punk mindset. With the track “Revolt,” Wings of Valkyrie definitely do that. The track features lyrics about the call to action that comes from a need to take a stand. The music and the lyrics on this particular track bring to mind the earlier bands like The Ramones or The Dead Boys who were known for their no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners attitude. While “Revolt” from Wings of Valkyrie may contain a slightly slower pace than most Punk tracks, but the Punk attitude is overflowing on this track. This track is definitely an anthem for today’s generation!

Just like the song “Revolt,” the song “Chicago” from Wings of Valkyrie also brings up anger from motivation that comes out of hatred. “Chicago” is a tribute to a city that has seen its share of anger, hatred and utter chaos in the last few years. While the track is a tribute to the city, there is absolutely no energy loss in the music in the song as the band’s musical approach still contains plenty of energy.

Following track after track of powerful moments created by the Punk music from Wings of Valkyrie, the band’s Exploding Hearts release comes to an end with the track “I Surrender”. The track finds Mikael “MiK!” Lopez singing about the pains of life and how they have started to weigh on him. The track’s lyrics are may seem rather depressing at times, but that simply means that Lopez is dealing with life the best way he can- through music.

Throughout the nine tracks that combine to create the Exploding Hearts release from Wings of Valkyrie, the band splits the time between serious subjects and lighter musical fare that come across as a lot more upbeat. And even though the entire album was created by only two musicians (Alex “Valdeezy” Valdez on Drums and Mikael “MiK!” Lopez on Guitars/Bass/Vocals), the resulting release feels fully developed and leaves the listener feeling completely satisfied; proving it’s not the number of band members, it’s the talent they possess.   

For a taste of the music from Wings of Valkyrie, check out their song “Restless” off of their Exploding Hearts release.

For more information and to check out more music from Wings of Valkyrie, check out the band’s Bandcamp account.

Also be sure to check out the band’s album cover designer (as well as manager), Jenny Luna.

To purchase a copy of Exploding Hearts from Wings of Valkyrie, click on the album cover below:

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