Death Valley Girls knew those should go together!" /> L.A. Record

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS: DARKNESS RAINS

October 1st, 2018 | Album reviews

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS
Darkness Rains
Suicide Squeeze

Thought I was gonna get 80s Roky, but the sound here is 80s Iggy with an adrenalin shot of 45 Grave, too. Death rock and Detroit rock—of course Death Valley Girls knew those should go together! “(One Less Thing) Before I Die,” “More Dead,” “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” and more are IgStooge-inspired shreddery from the same forbidden planet as Destroy All Monsters, thanks to especially Asheton-y guitar. (Some sax a la Funhouse on “Disaster,” too.) This isn’t a one-note album, although one note used well can be deadly. “Wear Black” is a 60s-gone-80s garage grinder with panting organ, and “TV in Jail on Mars” (refreshingly accurate title) is devoted to an exploito-film they’re-coming-for-your-daughters! aesthetic with cult-choir vocals. Wendy and Bonnie plus Black Angels? The Mamas and the Father Yods? You can practically hear the matching blood-red robes rustle. Darkness is a deeper and more distinctive album than you usually get with neo-neo-garage. Lots of those bands are making pop-punk with 60s production as camouflage, but not Death Valley Girls. They truly do like the scary stuff, and they don’t sing about summertime crushes—they sing about eating brains. (“Unzip Your Forehead”) This isn’t much of a verse/chorus album—it’s vibe/vibe/vibe, with the music and production and lyrics fit exactly together like components in some esoteric ritual. Fittingly, this record doesn’t end so much as culminate. “Occupation: Ghost Writer” is a Kill City after-midnight mood piece, and closer “Abre Camino” (“Open The Path”) is a slooooooow-burn Spacemen 3 mini-epic that lifts from a whisper to a frenzy. If you ever heard that part in S3’s “Revolution” that goes “I’m sooooooooooooo sick” and loved it … well, probably Death Valley Girls did too.

—Chris Ziegler

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS’ DARKNESS RAINS IS OUT FRI., OCT. 5, ON SUICIDE SQUEEZE. DEATH VALLEY GIRLS PERFORMS WITH ROKY ERICKSON ON WED., OCT. 3, AT THE TERAGRAM BALLROOM, 1234 W. 7TH ST., DOWNTOWN. 7 PM / $30 / MORE INFO HERE. GET TICKETS HERE!