Review: Deap Vally – Sistrionix
Published on July 5th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
According to The Guardian, Deap Vally’s debut album Sistrionix “distils rock and roll to its bare components”. Rocksucker, on the other hand, both smells bullshit and calls it.
We could see how their scuzzy riffery, ‘attitudinal’ vocals and dumbed-down hedonism might be fun in small doses, but stretched across a whole LP – and there is no deviation, save for a ‘secret’ a capella track at the end that’s by far the most noteworthy thing here – it gets tedious beyond belief.
Or should that be “tedium distilled to its bare components”? Just messin’.
Like we said, their “Lies” single seemed presentable enough in isolation, but their recent “Baby I Call Hell” release set the alarm bells ringing by sounding exactly like The Flaming Lips’ “Worm Mountain” with virtually all the good stuff taken out and replaced with identikit hollering that aims for Riot Grrl but lands closer to “quiet, girl!”.
It’s just a half-decent impression of a proper singer, a nifty trick with about as much genuine artistic value as a freshly laid turd, even less value if that turd happens to have an aesthetically pleasing curl to it.
Let’s get back to “Baby I Call Hell”, for if Deap Vally were aware of “Worm Mountain” then it is truly shameless as well as worthless. First, listen to “Worm Mountain”, which by the way also features MGMT:
Now listen to “Baby I Call Hell”…
“Baby I Call Hell”? Baby I call your bluff, more like.
Elsewhere, “Gonna Make My Own Money” declares independence with a ‘rousing’ chorus of “You say marry a rich man / Find a rich one if you can / Daddy, don’t you understand? / I’m gonna make my own money, gonna buy my own land” – just to give you a taste of the lyrical ingenuity on show here – while “Bad For My Body” prattles “Doing things that are bad for my body / Doing things that are bad for my health / Doing things that are bad for my future / ‘Cause I can’t help myself”.
In spite of our many reservations, Deap Vally seem to be getting pretty big. We suspect they’re being fast-tracked for a quick, box-ticking buck or two, because goodness knows there’s nothing on Sistrionix to imply any sort of longevity.
Sistrionix is out now on Universal Island Records.
Rocksucker says: One and a Half Quails out of Five!