Deap Vally – SistrionixCultureMusicAlbum reviews
It’s easy to imagine, a decade down the line, prematurely nostalgic twentysomethings describing Deap Vally’s debut album Sistronix as a defining soundtrack to their teenage years. Not because the Californians’ freshman effort is of adolescent quality, but their unapologetic guttural anthems beg to be played at top-volume behind the slammed doors of bedrooms the world over.
Fresh from their Glastonbury debut, the hype surrounding the duo, comprised of Lindsey Troy on guitar and vocals and Julie Edwards playing drums, is at fever pitch. Due to their makeup, the comparisons to The White Stripes and The Black Keys are as inevitable as they are reductive. But these self-described Valley Girls are unique, consistently defying expectations with their gut-wrenchingly heavy riffs across the record’s 11 tracks.
With Troy’s screaming vocals and song titles like Gonna Make My Own Money, the riot grrrrl label has been hastily thrown around to describe the wittily-titled Sistrionix, but it’s the sound rather than the sentiment that takes centre-stage. Still, there’s a message to the music, articulated perfectly on confrontationally aggressive tracks like Creeplife.
Standout numbers like Your Love and Bad for My Body elevate the experience of the album above tracks that feel like filler. Walk of Shame verges on self-parody territory, a well-intentioned but ultimately futile amalgamation of everything that’s already been said and done elsewhere on the record. Six Feet Under, the album’s closer, takes an excitingly unexpected new direction with stripped-back, slow-burning vocals but it seems a shame to end it all on a whisper rather than a bang.
Deap Vally’s brand of high-volume, blues-influenced rock unquestionably has a place on the ever-increasingly twee and ethereal music landscape. They’ve been appointed by the media as figureheads of a backlash against this prevailing sound, and while they’ve not been given much of a say in regard to occupying this role, spearheading a revolt seems like a very comfortable position for the duo to take.
Sistrionix was released on 24th June 2013.
Watch the video for Baby I Call Hell here: