Here's what Jay Horton has to say about onetime Portland next-big-things Sunset Valley in the upcoming edition of Willamette Week:
"Back when fin de millennium local indie veered between critically acclaimed projects of chin-scratching difficulty and the grimy excesses of 24-hour garage-party people, nobody quite split the difference like Sunset Valley. The trio exploded upon late '90s Portland on the backs of a raw, irrepressible, casually brilliant debut overstuffed with spiky, hook-driven guitar stabs and lyrical thickets demanding the goofy swagger of backseat sing-alongs. Thumbing through career retrospective Tropic of Candycorn, newly compiled and digitally released by Barsuk, the bristling confidence of all four late '90s/early august albums could still stop traffic. If they never quite accomplished the global dominion long presumed their birthright, that feels less an injustice than cosmic misfiling. Sunset Valley were always the coolest guys in the room. It's our shame the room never got big enough."
Tropic of Candycorn—compiling Sunset Valley's four studio albums, plus an extra odds-and-sods collection—is available today, and along with the comp comes a new video, for the unreleased track "Smallest Man," which you can watch below. Though the band, led by the great Herman Jolly, hasn't released a record of new material since 2003, it still performs sporadically, and will play Bunk Bar tomorrow night in support. All this forces us to wonder if the group is planning to become a going concern again. Even if that's not case, Tropic of Candycorn is a potent reminder of what could've been. Sometimes, that's enough.
SEE IT: Sunset Valley plays Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with Paradise and Dead Teeth, on Wednesday, July 2. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.