Deap Vally - Femejism album review

Turns out it wasn’t a fluke

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LA blooze-rawk duo Deap Vally exist in a very hip pocket tucked neatly between the sweatbuckets and split lips of hardcore, stun-gun, it’ll-be-1974-forever stomp’n’roll, and the hazy netherworld of buzzy indie-rock. They could tour with Blue Öyster Cult or spray-paint the walls of an art gallery with Sonic Youth and feel equally at home.

2013’s debut Sistrionix established them as a tight, stripped-down, gleefully ferocious Cream redux. They coulda rode that train for another five albums if they wanted, but Femejism finds them tempering their formidable thud with a welcome array of twists, such as the pop-grunge edge that lights up grrl-power anthem Smile More and the snappy Gonnawanna, or the bummed-out bedroom dribble of Critic, or the punky bubble-fuzz of Two Bike Seat, or even the dance-y drone of Grunge Bond. But don’t worry, most of the album is heads-down, hair-flying, stick-cracking denim-boogie.

Produced by Deap Vally and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s guitarist Nick Zinner, Femjism drags the band forward into a brave new future while keeping their mean, sexy, muscle-bound rock’n’roll snarl fully intact. A real blazer.