It’s always nice to find a band whose personalities are as big as their music, especially when they want to teach aliens about the physical act of love.
With a smattering of line-up changes since their Echo Park beginnings, Death Valley Girls are Los Angeles’ most deliciously, deviant exports. Iggy-obsessives, who worship at the altar of anything overtly sexual, bizarre or downright feral, they revel in being the weirdos of their scene and have an endearing fascination with anything truly, out of this world.
Alien conspiracy theories, UFOs, the super-natural, phantasms… it’s all a thrill for these guys. Their name in itself, is a place where they churn out their own glam-trash desires; Death Valley is a fictional, post-apocalyptic town, where they are its self-described, “Manson bitches”, without the intention of doing harm, of course.
It’s not hard to understand why rock and roll is the perfect medium for the band. It’s the best, uninhibited way to channel your dark side, your sordid fantasies and your hedonistic tendencies. It’s Death Valley Girls’ best line of defence and offence, in equal measure.
With a sound that lies somewhere between The Cramps playful menace and Black Sabbath’s unholy abandon, an affiliation with cult label, Burger Records and a motto taken from campy, sexploitation romp, Switchblade Sisters – “everybody’s gotta be in a gang” – Death Valley Girls are for those who favour all black on hot summer days and pentagrams at night.
The band have two albums worth of material to rummage through, but it’s perhaps their second release, Glow In The Dark, that will give you the thrill you need. Hell-raising, full of attitude and drenched in sin-filled scuzz, it’s an open-armed call for rebellion, where shackles are lifted and the concept of boring, age-old rhetorics are pushed aside. It’s thrilling to hear a band so in thrall to their wild side, with ‘Disco’ a perfect example of all of the above.
What’s on your…
“What is going on in outer space???”
“Iggy, Bowie, The Stones, The Cramps, B-52s, Bo Diddley and 70s supernatural magazine pages.”
“The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel, Please Kill Me, Hollwood Babylon, true crime, rock bios and smut and paranormal magazines from the 60s/70s.”
“Stooges, MC5, The Tammys, Alice Cooper, Roky Erickson, The Damned, Dead Moon, Lollipop Shoppe, New York Dolls, Velvet Underground and Amon Duul.”
Phone screen saver
“Debbie Harry wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt.”
Ultimate babes list
“Traci Lords, Patricia Arquette, Tina Aumont, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Fred Sonic Smith, Joey Ramone and Scott Ashton.”
“Unsealed Conspiracy Files, Paranormal Survivor and DMT: The Spirit Molecule.”
List of charities you support
Pre-gig warm up plan
“Watch the other bands!”
New music radar
“Table Scraps, Cat Scan, Frankie & The Witch Fingers, Schizophonics, Draemings and Shannon Lay.”
“We are really lucky to have done so much already but we’d like to record some more records and go to Vietnam.”
Dream clothes rail
“Gold 60s thigh-high go-go boots.”
“We are opti-mystics, trying to unite the world with rock and roll!”
Photo credit to Cedric O’Berlin
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Words by Harley Cassidy