Deap Vally – ‘Sistrionix’

Inundated with primitive, bombastic, fuzzed-up riffs, Deap Vally’s debut is an accomplished record from a duo who already sound to be at the peak of their passion. The duo, made up of vocalist/guitarist Lindsey Troy and drummer Julie Edwards, first met at a crochet class and swiftly formed together in 2011. Sistrionix is an audiological representation for the true meaning of “girl power”.

Political woes and feminism are the main themes of the songwriting here, with Troy’s impassioned and raging vocals effectively communicating the girls’ feelings. Troy speaks from her point of view throughout, yet it does pose the need for more variation and dimensional songwriting.

The real star of the show is the instrumental chemistry between Troy and Edwards. Musically, significant influence is drawn from Jack White and his work with The White Stripes & The Dead Weather. Troy employs her knowledge to create driving, memorable melodies in both her vocal and guitar work.

Her love for the infamous fuzz pedal is evident and bursts through on almost every cut. Opener ‘End of the World’ steadily chugs along before exploding into a cacophonous gauntlet of fuzzy brilliance, unlike ‘Baby I Call Hell’ that instantly rips into a filthy riff and the girls’ highly melodic “oh oh oh”‘s.

There are a slew of tracks that instantly grab the listener due to sheer audible dominance, namely ‘Walk of Shame’ which is a short, uptempo blast leading into ‘Gonna Make My Own Money’ with more of that signature, fuzzed-up and octave-ridden guitar. Praise has to be given for the tone that Troy achieves in ‘Your Love’; a fantastically sustained blues melody that wholly commandeers the cut.

The duo slow down the tempo to a near grinding halt on the tremendous closer ‘Six Feet Under’, a stripped-back bluesy stomper. Troy’s octave & tremolo guitar rattles and reverberates with Edwards’ crisp, tight drums book-ending a tidy package. Ultimately, Sistrionix is an album if when played, you cannot ignore; something within it will grab you, and force its way to your inner core.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Essential tracks: End of the World // Baby I Call Hell // Your Love // Six Feet Under

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