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Deap Vally - Femejism album review

Turns out it wasn’t a fluke

Deap Vally Femejism album cover

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.

Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.