Based on your current station in our technological age, Death Valley Girls’ fusion of feral proto-punk, ‘70s scuzz dirges, and third eye mysticism is either completely at odds with your worldview or utterly revelatory. Words like “retro” or “old school” convey a starry eyed nostalgia that do a disservice to the band’s harnessing of primal instrumentation and communal reverberations—if something in Death Valley Girls’ sound harkens to the past, it’s only in an attempt to dislodge us from the static of the present. That dedication to lifting the veil of modern illusions continues with their current single “Dream Cleaver”—a rousing anthem in praise of psychonaut and ethnobotonist Terrence McKenna, his research on “the spirit molecule” DMT, and the possibility of trans-dimensional travel. Lest one thinks that this is some blissed out cosmic ride on new age synth pads, be aware that “Dream Cleaver” is an unapologetic stone-cold rocker—an unabashed orgy of Farfisa organ hooks, Larry Schemels’ hypnotic and propulsive guitar chords, hallucinatory sax lines, and Bonnie Bloomgarden’s call-to-arms vocals. If you need to get elevated, take a three-minute dose of “Dream Cleaver”.
The only good thing about the Coronapocalypse was the fact that I discovered L.A. Witch. Smoky, snarling and sullen, I feel like they're in the neighborhood of the Cramps, Velvets, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Mazzy Star. But that only gives you a general idea of what's going on. You really need to dive into their world of noir fuzz, thick bass and tribal surf drums to get the full and addictive effect. mark-s