In my Hearts Under Fire review a few weeks ago I touched on how important I think it is for women in rock music to elect to be ambassadors for the female cause rather than to have the title thrust upon them the second they pick up a guitar. Whilst HUF are pointedly for the music rather than for the girls, some bands do choose to pick up the torch for the feminism movement and use their music as a vehicle to express their womanly pride. This is not to suggest that feminism entirely defines all of these bands however; some just enjoy making music and advocating self-celebration of the female being and sexuality is simply a part of how they construct themselves as musicians.
Deap Vally is doing both it for the music and for the girls.
Deap Vally-Baby I Call Hell
The immense sound of this LA rock duo is generated by the compact arrangement of vocals, a guitar and a drum kit. It has all the grunt of rock n roll at its synoptic root but this is commissioned by the empowered reclamation of female sexuality. Deap Vally define themselves as a ‘post-post-post feminist band’. They pay tribute to those who have advocated the cause before them whilst creating their own new interpretation of feminism based on a playful attitude to femininity and sexuality, with emphasis on the universal transcendence of really great music.
There is something inherently primal about the Deap Vally sound. It takes you by the soul and shakes you. Hard. Not maliciously but rather with the desire to evoke from you a visceral reaction whilst outwardly it hits you at the optimum frequency for making your face fold in on itself. Deap Vally’s music is certainly not a spectator’s sport – participation is encouraged or otherwise kidnapped.
The driving guitar riffs are filthy and the drums are high tempo and diverse. From the instrumentals alone you could easily recognise this band but the addition of that seductively bluesy-rock vocal puts Deap Vally in a class of its own. Lyndsey Troy has an incredibly raw and unrestricted tone to her voice yet maintains a level of control that keeps the vocal on course without hindering its natural freedom; it’s almost organised anarchy. You get the impression that no two performances from Deap Vally will be quite the same and such creative spontaneity is defining of the rock n roll genre. When Julie Edwards lends her own vocals to the mix, the sound becomes quite anthemic. The two artists are perfectly suited to one and other and together they make an incredibly streamlined outfit.
There is something innately sexy about Deap Vally and it extends beyond the fact that they are obviously attractive women; their self-confidence and belief in their work is hugely appealing, as is their attitude to life in general. Their recently released album, “Sistrionix”, is bursting with amazing original tracks written with their signature humorous and stylish left-field personality. When discussing one of these songs, “Walk of Shame”, the duo offer the logic: “Why is a walk of shame shameful? Have fun!”. They are, with intentional disregard of eloquence, effing awesome.