Europa [yur-ROH-pah] n.- A unique moon of Jupiter with a surface among the brightest in the solar system consquence of a frozen crust, named from the Greek mythology of Zeus and his enslaved mortal bride- Europa-ergo; means-"Slave to the King". Europas sound takes The Beatles diverse approach, combined with a "Pixies" punch. Formed in late 2004, the band has performed over 100 shows, playing through out California.
~Ryan Valiente (Guitar/Vox/Composer/Publisher)- Was raised on The Beatles and saw his first guitar in the hands of his father, who mostly played A Hard Days Night and La Bamba. In 1992, Valiente discovered Nirvana, and then The Pixies, this was the sound he was looking for. Greatly influenced by the Beatles (John Lennon), Nirvana (Kurdt Cobain) and the Pixies (Black Francis Black), his initial desire to be a guitar player, gave way to that of singer/songwriter. Intensity/Integrity/Honesty.
(Influences include: Pixies,Nirvana,Beatles,Frank Black,Queen,Man or Astroman,minutemen)
-SAN FRAN VOICE WEAPONS CD REVIEW SEPTEMBER 2007-
Europa is a band that I would have loved in high school. Now hold on, I'm not dissing the band at all (eek, dissing, I think I just went back to high school!) It's just that, although I listen to a whole range of different music, my personal preferences have begun to lean towards softer, more lyrical songs in the last few years (I know, I know, I'm getting old). And Europa is anything but soft. They play an aggressive form of alternative rock music that never ever takes a breath. And they play it well.
The 6 tracks on their new CD, Weapons, all consist of the trio's insistent instrumentals. The initial track "Butcher" is an instrumental, but it's a short song so you get the full effect of the band's playing style without getting bored. Then they move to track two, "The Ground", which incorporates the vocal skills of Ryan Valiente to round out the full effect. Their instruments are basic – drums, bass, guitars and their singer – but they play them in that old school way that makes you feel like the instruments are pressed against you on all sides. It's the kind of music that makes you want to go crowd surfing. Or become a groupie.
Weapons isn't an album that you can sit down to. It's not something I'd play in the background. It's music that grabs you by your heart and reminds you of that old bumper sticker you had on your car; "If you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention". It's a wake-up call that lets you know that there's nothing dead about the alternative rock scene in the Bay Area. And it's a wake-up call to me that maybe I should resume listening to music that can't just be played in the background.