Death Valley Girls’ Album Release Party At The Echo, Thursday June 30th 2016
I have followed Death Valley Girls since Lolipalooza last year… I had seen them a few times but I could not miss the release party of their debut album at the Echo on Thursday night.
First, there were Frankie and the Witch Fingers, and did I enjoy their furious and mad set! They made me immediately think about Thee Oh Sees, and this is always a very good thing in my book. On record, they are quite lo-fi, but live they were loud and wild with many eccentric detours and a manic way to play guitars. They were playing a psychedelic garage-rock power 100, with an energy sent to the roof with the neck of a guitar pointed to the ceiling, and if they sounded like a Burger Records trademark, their new album, ‘Heavy Roller’, will be out via Permanent Records on July 29th.They played as if they were possessed by the red devil in the back of the décor, holding their guitar very high like a gun and running after a crazy fuzzy psychedelia they just could never really catch. Hair in the face and fuzzy distortion, people were cheering up all set long.
Things started to get rowdy but it didn’t calm down with Peach Kelli Pop, a female band playing bubble pop punk if such a thing exists. With a moniker looking like a child’s sweet treat, the Peach Kelli Pop girls had a big punk heart immediately surfacing in their fast tempo, despite their very poppy-bubbly sound. It was a very bouncy and poppy set, four girls in shorts and skirts playing the most non-abrasive and non-aggressive form of punk you can imagine, but making people mosh nevertheless. A pure Burger-Lollipop-Records product, they sounded like a schoolgirl version of a Ramones’ song, effortlessly mixing pop with punk, singing short songs with anime cuties voices. But they were playing so fast and making the crowd react so much, they could have opened for Shonen Knives,… well they recently toured their bop pop in Japan!
Then it was Death Valley Girls’ turn, and they had brought the red devil in the back, the tombstones, the crow on the mic and other stuffed coyote. The girl gang (I know there is also a guy among them), dressed with black leather capes and skirts, looked like a cross between witches, amazons and superheros glowing in the dark (at least their hair was)… and the room got really dark, is this what we call glam-punk? A mad house, disorienting and very loud followed, accompanied by a dark-boogie psychedelic witchcraft, reaching metal-like dooms, and psychedelic fuzz. it was wild, it smelt like hallucinogenic mushrooms and black magic, with a vision of death in the fog, just penetrated by Bonnie Bloomgarden’s high-pitch vocals. They were a rebellion, outlaw feisty females yelling their guts out, and asking for a riot at each one of their ferocious howls. So much swagger, so much badassness is rarely observed in female bands and their thunder brought back the riot grrrl old days, like a cross between Black Sabbath, Sleater Kinney and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, revisiting the occult and mysterious LA, abducting aliens and running away with Manson, Aleister Crowley, and Kim Fowley. They brought a young guy on stage for their last song, as if they were kidnapping him for a savage bike ride, and he danced his heart out behind the loud females…I had never seen so many photographers taking pictures at the same time, the Echo was packed and the temperature rose to reach inferno’s highs.
‘Glow in the Dark’ is Death Valley Girls’ debut album on Burger Records.