Five Songs For The Week, October 7th 2018
Death Valley Girls –‘Disaster (Is What We’re After)’: Satan-worshipper Death Valley Girls have a new album, the appropriately titled ‘Darkness Rains’, and this opening song starts like the greatest rock song of the year, badass and menacing with mean guitar distortion, a soaring chorus, and Bonnie Bloomgarden’s high-pitched vocals. They are Iggy Pop’s fav (they recently filmed a video for this same song showing the godfather of punk just eating a burger) and you can certainly understand why in this Stooges-inspired pulsing opening, followed by a fuzzy psych-rock number turning into chaos. The song charges like there is no tomorrow, and maybe they are right on this part.
Cat Power – ‘In Your Face’: Chan has a new album too, and this song from the quiet and intimate ‘Wanderer’ is particularly moving and resonates with a powerful calm in these strange and troubled times. It’s a very stripped-down song with handmade looping percussion and Chan’s unique vocals indirectly telling us the tale of privileged America ‘You never need, you’re American’, while focusing on the decline of empathy under the Trump era, ‘In the age of military/You are engaged with such fanfare activity’. It’s subtle enough to not be a political song, but the sadness is real when she sings with her smoky deep voice ‘Your color blue is grey’.
Marianne Faithfull – ‘The Gypsy Faerie Queen’ featuring Nick Cave: When the woman has a deeper voice than the man… This song was released about a month ago, and Warren Ellis’ scratching strings mixed with sad keys are slowly pushing the song into profound emotions, while the melody has a very Bad Seeds vibe. Of course, Faithfull’s almost-spoken-words dictation is the main attraction and the song will be featured on Faithfull’s forthcoming studio album, ‘Negative Capability’
Sextile –‘One of These’: This is a band I see around a lot, they will be part of Desert Daze and they have just toured Europe! Their genre, that they call ‘primitive post-punk from outer space’ is as icy as it is energetic, as dark as it is chaotic. Their use of synth reminds the goth punk scene, and it’s a miracle that they manage to produce such music in sunny surfy Los Angeles because they sound like an underground band playing in a Manchester basement in the early ‘80s! However, their chaotic live shows work like ice and fire.
Holy Wars –‘Born Dark’: This is the latest release of Holy Wars fronted by the terrific and fearless Kat Leon whose live shows are legendary here in Los Angeles. This new song sounds like one of their dark dancefloors, launched with Kat’s deep breath before she dives into an explosive blend of synth-terror, infectious rhythms, and tribal drums… another surprising side of LA, for a band which continues to dance in the dark.