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Time Travel And Sheer ’70s Cool: Death Valley Girls’ Darkness Rains

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Do you believe in time travel?

After listening to Death Valley Girls newest slab of pure rock n roll, you will. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear on a stack of bibles that this album came out alongside the first Stooges album or MC5’s Kick Out the Jams. The Death Valley Girls ooze the absolute coolness of that era and prove that they are destined to be mentioned in the same breath as those luminaries.

Two videos have been released ahead of the album. “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” is one of the catchiest tracks and could be one of the best videos ever. In homage to the video of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger, director Kansas Bowling was able to get head Stooge, Iggy Pop to do the same. Iggy has been a vocal champion of the group, so I don’t think it took too much convincing to get him on board. “More Dead” is the latest video/single with its spooky Manson/cult imagery (and a cute iguana named Loveland) but a very serious message about suicide prevention at the end which is a caring and beautiful touch.

What you haven’t heard yet will blow your mind when you do.

The growth of the band is very noticeable. They’ve honed their power of turning out short, sharp, to the point, no nonsense jams and moody pseudo-psychedelic hymns. Songs like “(One Less Thing) Before I Die” and “Unzip Your Forehead” absolutely slay. “Wear Black” would be at home on any Cramps record with its psychobilly groove and Bonnie Bloomgarden’s classic organ tying it all together. Guitarist Larry Schemel shows that he can make “Brother” Wayne Kramer of MC5 jealous with the insane solos he pulls off in songs like “Abre Camino” and “Occupation: Ghost Writer” while at the same time showing such constraint by adding texture and atmosphere in songs like “Born Again and Again” and the album closer “TV in Jail on Mars.” Bonnie also showcases her lyrical prowess throughout. The aforementioned “More Dead” with its anti-suicide message, doesn’t need to be wordy to make its point. She succinctly says it with, “Try to stay one more day, While you’ve got a choice to make, It’s not long, then you’re gone”.

A definite contender for album of the year, this is a perfect balance of 60’s garage rock and punk. It’s a reminder that rock and roll is not dead, even though some people keep trying to push it underground for the formulaic slop that sheeple are buying these days. Like Bonnie sings in ‘Street Justice’, “Nations head in the sand, Fingers in their ears, eyes covered by their hands, They don’t wanna understand”.

Oh, but they need to understand…Darkness Rains REIGNS!

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Disaster (Is What We’re After) video –

More Dead video –

Suicide Squeeze Records –