Last week, a new hardcore band named Valley Girl cryptically uploaded their four-song demo to YouTube, and it quickly picked up a decent buzz online — despite no one knowing the band's full lineup.
The sparse credits only listed that it was produced by bigwig hardcore producer/musician Taylor Young (Nails, Twitching Tongues, God's Hate) and featured drums from his brother/frequent collaborator Colin (also of Twitching Tongues, God's Hate, and the HardLore podcast). Therefore, many people surmised that it was a new project from the prolific Young brothers, but no one could place who the mystery singer was.
On January 27th, Valley Girl played their first-ever show in San Fernando, CA, and neither of the Young brothers were present onstage. However, there was someone far more notable in Valley Girl's ranks.
The guy holding the mic was Jesse Rutherford, singer of the wildly successful pop-rock band The Neighbourhood, and the recent ex-boyfriend of popstar Billie Eilish.
Yes, Valley Girl are fronted by a genuine celebrity, who sang on the Neighbourhood's 2013 internet smash "Sweater Weather" that boasts a whopping 2.5 billion streams on Spotify alone. In late 2022, Rutherford and Eilish famously started dating, and then broke up by spring 2023.
So yeah, Rutherford is from a completely different world than hardcore, but he certainly commits to the genre's form in Valley Girl, where he sings and screams along to music that sounds like a slightly heavier version of Glow On-era Turnstile.
Naturally, the hardcore internet is already polarized over Rutherford's involvement in this world. Some people genuinely like the Valley Girl material, and video of their first show proves that some attendees were already singing along and moshing just a couple days after the demo dropped.
Others feel differently about the band. Either way, it's important to note that this isn't the first time Rutherford has dipped his toes into the heavy-music underground.
In 2022, he was one of many eclectic guests on HEALTH's industrial-noise-pop collab album DISCO4 :: PART II, putting him on the same LP as Nine Inch Nails, Lamb of God, Perturbator and other, including even more underground noise acts like The Body and Backxwash
Clearly, the guy enjoys deviating from the polished pop-rock of The Neighbourhood. Decide for yourself if Valley Girl are your thing by checking out footage of their live show above, and listening to their demo below.