Self-described as “songs for the underdog”, Deap Vally’s latest EP American Cockroach is a musical metamorphosis for the LA rock duo. With songs that shed their garage rock shell, Deap Vally have grown wings that weave through bluesy ballads, satire and sincerity on this four-track phenomenon, which is sonically kissed by the soft lips of collaboration, featuring the likes of bassist Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal) and Ayse Hassan (ESYA/Savages).
Imagine a trashy bar with a single spotlight shining down on a beautiful, bluesy singer in a thigh-split dress. You’re downing a beer and watching her half-sprawled across a grand piano, serenading a crowd with songs saturated with sadness. That’s what listening to the opening track ‘Give Me A Sign’ feels like. With slow staccato beats, vocals that emulate the same sultriness of Lana Del Rey and Mazzy Star, ‘Give Me A Sign’ is a truly tender ballad. As vocalist Lindsey Troy says of the track, “[This] is a deeply personal song. It will always mark a very specific time in my life.”
‘I Like Crime’ is (as one YouTube commenter perfectly puts) a “cunnilingus bop,” with Jennie Vee shredding on the bass, Troy’s rasping vocals and Julie Edwards’ unwavering drumbeat giving the serial killer storyline of the lyrics some serious swagger. The titular ‘American Cockroach’ is a return to Deap Vally’s garage rock roots. It’s a sexy invitation for class war that would make even Karl Marx wet. Finishing strongly with ‘Better Off With Nothing’, Deep Vally’s collaboration with the talented Ayse Hassan is haunting yet radiant; the post-punk track is a perfect end to this brilliant EP.
Photo Credit: Ericka Clevenger