Category: garage rock

New Video: The Trippy Visual For Velvet Starlings’ Anthemic New Ripper “Technicolour Shakedown”

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — initially started as a solo recording project with Gisborne writing, recording and producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut, released when Gisborne was just 15. Velvet Starling’s sophomore EP Love Everything, Love Everyone was released in 2019. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Specialty Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

s 2019 Emerging Stage competition — and as a winner, he and his new bandmates will be playing a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021. The band also recently announced a handful of live dates, which you’ll see below.

engineered the album in the middle of his living room, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the material is influenced by early  Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Gisborne says “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.” 

h out the project’s live sound. The collaboration can trace its origins to when Giborne met the Poling while waiting on a line outside a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. Quickly discovering a shared mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, the trio set up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Previously, the Velvet Starlings founder and creative mastermind had long hired session and touring musicians but as his friendship with The Polings growing deeper, Gisborne recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his bandmates.

Last month, I wrote about the swaggering Technicolour Shakedown album single “Back Of The Train.” The rousingly anthemic psych rock stomper was centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drums and Gisborne’s guttural howls. Sounding a though it could have been released in 1964, 2008 or even two weeks ago, the song as the Velvet Starlings founder told Flood Magazine “is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

thunderous power chords, blown out drums. The end result is the sort of crowd-pleasing ripper that you can imagine sweaty crowds bouncing up and down to in a darkened, divey club. “The track is an anthemic ode to going out and to live music experience, and colorfully describing the energy of catching your favorite and on the local scene and being packed in a venue like sardines — and loving every minute of it!”

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley GIrls Absurd Yet Defiant Visual for “I’m a Man Too”

I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink over the course of the site’s 11+ year history covering Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls. Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history, the band — currently founding duo and primary songwriters Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar, keys) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey — can quite literally trace its origins as a sort of safe haven for its founding duo, as they navigated the difficult path of getting clean from hard drugs.

Understandably, for Schemel and Bloomgarden, the band was a kind of rebirth for them, and an outlet for a new — perhaps clearer and cleaner — way of living. Their newfound appreciation for life, inspired a thirst for communal celebration. And their earliest shows wound up taking on a mystical fervor: While their overall aesthetic is influenced by The Manson Family, B movie theatrics and the occult, they paired that with adrenalized swagger, scuzzy garage rock and punk, without the hardened nihilism.

Glow in the Dark was a jittery and jubilant barnburner centered around scuzzy guitar riffle, rousingly anthemic choral hooks and thunderous rhythms. Thematically, the album sees the band reveling in the secret bond held between misfits and outcasts, who openly refused to submit to the crushing weight of “capitalism, classism and elitism” with the album’s songs being a rallying cry to like-minded souls. “Once you realize that money, government, and this whole system is a shitty construct that doesn’t work and stands in the way of our true magical infinite potential, we start to glow,” The Death Valley Girls’ Bloomgarden says about the album. “And we can see everyone that believes ‘cause they glow too!”

Physical copies of Glow in the Dark have been unavailable with the album being out of print since 2016. But thankfully, the good folks at Suicide Squeeze Records will officially re-issue Death Valley Girls’ sophomore album on August 27, 2021: The album will be available on all the digital platforms — and as an initial vinyl pressing limited to 2,000 copies (1,500 on Unite, Multiply, & Conquer splatter vinyl, 500 on Little Ghost tri-color vinyl).

brate the re-issue of Glow in the Dark, the band released a new video for album single “I’m a Man Too.” Centered around enormous and rousingly anthemic shout along worthy hooks, scuzz spattered power chords and a forcefully chugging rhythm section, “I’m a Man Too,” the song is a joyful and defiant anthem that calls for the end of societal ideals of gender and gender roles, pointing out that they’re complete restrictive bullshit.

“What it means to be a man and what we expect from a woman has negatively impacted all our lives. How we treat each other and ourselves shouldn’t be based on society’s ideals of gender!” Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes, “Everyone is a unique combination of feminine and masculine energy. It’s constantly changing. Somebody outside of you telling you how to be yourself is the most ridiculous and harmful thing I can imagine. You are a beautiful combination of many different things. Get to know yourself, be the most authentic you you can be. Label yourself if you wanna, don’t if you don’t, respect yourself and who everyone else is; that’s who they are!”

The recently released video by Cherry and edited by Little Ghost is a surreal and nightmarish makeup tutorial set to the song.

New Video: Deap Vally and Jennie Vee Star in a Lovingly Campy Tribute to True Crime TV

co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process. 

dwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EPwith Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one. 

chi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan. 

hat run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others. 

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

Directed by Amber Navarro and shot on 16mm film, the recently released video for “I Like Crime” is a campy and lovingly B film-like take on true crime TV that features Tory, Edwards and Vee in varying degrees of danger and imperilment — and it’s fucking twisted and hilarious.

“I really wanted to create a mash up of all the true crime tv we’ve all grown up watching and currently obsess over, thanks to more modern shows, reruns, and reboots (20/20, Unsolved Mysteries, Nightline, TruTV etc.) we all watch today,” Amber Navarro explains. “The video for ‘I Like Crime’ is like some sort of sick, twisted love letter to these shows.”

New Video: Follow Velvet Starlings on a Hallucinogenic Chase

Southern California-based garage rock Velvet Starlings` — wunderkind founding member, singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Gisborne, drummer Foster Poling and bassist Hudson Poling — was initially surged as a solo recording project with Gisbourne writing, recording, producing every instrumental part on the project’s 2015 self-titled debut EP, which he released when he was 15. When Gisborne was 17, he released his sophomore EP, 2019’s Love Everything, Love Everyone. Both EPs charted in the top 5 at Speciality Radio and landed at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only.

Gisborne’s work with Velvet Starlings has also caught the attention of The Kinks’ Dave Davies and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, who count themselves as fans of the project, as well as the BBC. Adding to a growing profile, Gisborne won Milwaukee Summerfest’s 2019 Emerging Stage competition, which has led to a Summerfest main stage set on September 17, 2021.

Velvet Starlings highly-anticipated full-length debut Technicolour Shakedown is slated for an August 27, 2021 release through Sound x 3 Recordsr/AWAL/The Orchard with a vinyl release in the States by Kitten Robot. Much like his previously released material Gisborne wrote, produced, engineered and mixed Technicolour Shakedown — in the middle of his living room as a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns. Sonically, the album’s material draws influence from a number of various sources including early Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys while revealing Gisborne’s own take on the sound, which he describes as “beach fuzz psych with a big cheeky nod to the UK Invasion.” He adds “in the gloom and doom of COVID, I found myself reminiscing all the time about the days when we would wait in line for hours to see our favorite bands. The songs on the first album reflect everything i felt I was missing out on.” Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, Christian Gisborne adds “I think a Rock ‘n’ Roll renaissance is coming after this crazy year of lock down. We’re hoping that a full front-to-back of Technicolour Shakedown will evoke the feeling you get at a rock ‘n’ roll house party — wherever the listener may find himself.”

After completing the album’s material, Gisborne recruited the Poling Brothers to help flesh out the band’s live sound. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer met the Poling Brothers while waiting on line outside of a 2019 Cage The Elephant show. After realizing that they all shared a mutual love of The Who` and Spongebob Squarepants, they found themselves setting up plans to jam at a rehearsal space. Although Gisborne had long hired session and touring musicians, with his friendship with the Poling Brothers growing deeper, he recognized that the next era of the project would feature them as his full-time bandmates.

Technicolour Shakedown’s first single “Back Of The Train” is a swaggering and rousingly anthemic, psych rock stomp centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous yet murky drums paired with Gisborne’s guttural howls that sounds as though it could have been released in 1964 or 2008 — or yesterday. As Gisborne told Flood Magazine: “The song is about struggling as a musician while taking nothing for granted. ‘Back Of The Train’ centers around a sneaky low note 60s guitar riff and drums so over-compressed it would make The Sonics cringe. I think it’s awful in the best way possible.” He goes on to further describe it as the story “paying dues and making sacrifices while making sure to enjoy the ride along the way.”

Directed by Megan Blanchard, the recently release video for “Back Of The Train” is one part classic Hitchcockian chase meets The French Connection, one part psychedelic trip and one part 120 Minutes MTV-inspired video.

With the release of their first two albums, 2013’s Sistrionix and 2016’s Nick Zinner co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process.

Last year, the duo collaborated with The Flaming Lips on the Deap Lips album. Edwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EP with Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one.

Slated for a June 18, 2021 release through Cooking Vinyl, the Los Angeles-based duo’s forthcoming Josiah Mazzaschi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan.

The duo explain that the EP “is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for while that run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others.

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

Jennie Vee adds “Recording with Julie and Lindsey felt very fresh but natural at the same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Death Valley Girls Release a Joyful Children’s TV-Inspired Visual for “Little Things”

Throughout this site’s almost 11-year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych rock JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls. Currently featuring the band’s founding duo Larry Schemel (guitar) and Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar) and a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Alana Amram (bass), Laura Harris (drums), Shannon Lay, members of The Make Up, The Shivas and Moaning, as well as The Flytraps’ Laura Kelsey, the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history — and yet throughout their history, the band’s overall aesthetic and sound has generally been indebted to The Manson Family, B movie theatrics and the occult.

Last year was a rather busy year for the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays: They started off the year with the two-song, 7 inch EP Breakthrough, an EP which featured a cover of  Atomic Rooster‘s “Breakthrough,” a song the band originally discovered through an even more obscure cover by Nigerian psych act The Funkees.  Continuing upon the momentum of Breakthrough EP, the JOVM mainstays’ longtime label home Suicide Squeeze Records released their fourth album Under the Spell of Joy late last year.

The album deriving its title from a the text on a t-shirt that the San Diego-based heavy psych rock act Joy gave to Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden, who wrote the shirt like a talisman ov er the course of the next five years. “I read it as being about manifesting your biggest dreams and responding thoughtfully and mindfully to everything that comes in your path with joy and compassion first,” Bloomgarden explains in press notes. “There is a lot to be really angry about in the world but joy is just as powerful if used correctly!”

Interestingly, with their fourth album, the band sought to make a spiritual record — what Bloomgarden describes as a “space gospel” — with the intention of bringing people together and creating the kind of participatory musical experience people have in places of worship: Much of the album’s material is centered around chants, choirs and rousing choruses, written with the expressed purpose of encouraging people to sing and shout along. Unlike their previously released material, which found the band connecting to listeners in esoteric means, the album’s material sees the band attempting to tap into an age-old tradition fo connecting with people by inviting them to actively participate with them.

Although Bloomgarden and Schemel knew their intention for the album’s material before they had written a single note, the nature and direction of the music was initially inspired by the Ethiopian funk records they had been listening to while touring — but once they began playing and recording the material they had written, the music, which they claim came from tapping into their subconscious seemed to come from the future. 

Last year, I wrote about three album singles:

The Universe,” an expansive and mind-bending track which featured elements of shoegaze and  Pink Floyd-like psych rock.
“Hold My Hand,” a euphoric track that evokes the swooning sensation of new love — and the urge to improve oneself through deep, personal reflection.
“Under the Spell of Joy,” a hallucinogenic fever dream that’s a rock ‘n’ roll take on the good news, gospel stomp that sonically is a seamless synthesis of part Fun House-era The Stooges, acid-tinged psych rock, Giant Steps-era Coltrane.

“Little Things” Under the Spell of Joy’s fourth and latest single is an ebullient and upbeat take on jangle rock centered around a shout along worthy hook. And at its core, the song is a gently smiling reminder that when life turns shitty — which is more often than not — that you should focus on the little things: in fact, sometimes your dreams can be what keeps you sane. “We wrote ‘Little Things’ for a friend of ours, who has been fighting for his life in physical pain for years,” Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden explains in press notes. “While we talked about how stinky his health and living situation was, he realized how much he still loved dreaming. We both realized that if he shifted his focus to the part of his life he loved — even if it was just when he was dreaming/daydreaming, that was perfectly ok! Focus on the little things!”

Directed by The Little Ghost/Kelsey Hart, the recently released video for “Little Things” is a psychedelic fever dream inspired by children’s TV shows — and it captures the song’s infectious, child-like joy.

“My aim for this video was to reflect the unbridled hope and joy of ‘Little Things,'” The Little Ghost explains. “Bonnie and I discuss our dreams daily, so I wanted to create a cartoonish psychedelic dreamscape that invited everyone to dance, sing, and revel in the optimism of daydreaming! In order to keep the production of this video maximally Covid-safe, I used special effects to bring Death Valley Girls together digitally. I was inspired by Teletubbies, public access TV, and Tony Oursler.”

New Video: Montreal-based Duo Jitensha Release a Playful Visual for Breezy Yet Existential New Single

Deriving their name from the Japanese word for bicycle, the rising Montreal-based husband-wife indie rock/indie pop duo Jitensha — multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Erin Rose Hubbard and David Martinez — can trace their the origins of their romantic relationship and their creative collaboration to how the duo initially met: avid bicyclists, who were both studying Japanese at the time.  “Jitensha just really seemed to fit us and since then has served as our life motto … the direction you choose, and the energy you put in, determines where you end up,” the duo explain in press notes.”

The Montreal-based duo’s latest single “Sojourn” seemingly draws thematic influence from a famous Albert Einstein quote: “Each of us is here for a brief sojourn for what purpose, he knows not, though he sometimes senses it.” Centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths, propulsive drumming, an infectious and summery groove and the duo’s dueling boy-girl harmonizing, “Sojourn” is deceptively infectious and breezy song that is part dream pop, part indie pop, part indie rock. The hook-driven song finds the duo lyrically asking the existential questions that have given many of us anxiety and countless sleepless nights: Why are we here? What’s the purpose of this? What gives any of this meaning? What if the universe is indifferent to us? What happens to us after we die? The song’s hook “Hey ça va bien aller” (It’s going to be okay) is a partially ironic and partially earnest play on the sunny slogan used in Montreal during the pandemic.

As the rising Montreal-based duo explain, the song is inspired by the tragic deaths of a newlywed couple that Hubbard and Martinez had been friends with: “Friends of ours, a newly wedded couple, died in a motorcycle accident. They had been so young and so in love, full of smiles, laughter and gumption. They both lived life to the fullest and we thought the best way to honour and remember them is to try and do the same.” The duo add “”This single is the beginning of a new sound for Jitensha. We are delving further into the contemplative, and into the misty space between optimism and realism, where things are often darker but can be clearer.”

Directed by Richard and Stephanie Bastarache, the recently released video for “Sojourn” features the married duo wearing all white playing with contrast, shadows and color, honing in on the juxtaposition between the song’s breezy arrangement and existential-leaning lyrics. Towards the end of the video, the duo have on bright, vibrantly colored clothing, which may suggest that things will wind up being okay.

The Montreal-based duo will be releasing new singles throughout the rest of the year, and are hoping to release an album sometime later on.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Parrots Release a Cinematic and Allegorical Visual for New Single “Maldito”

Diego García (vocals, guitars) and Alex de Lucas (vocals, bass) formed the acclaimed Madrid-based indie rock/garage rock act The Parrots back in 2014. And with a handful of independently released singles, the then-trio nosily burst into the music world, receiving both national and international attention while establishing a boozy, mischievous sensibility to their overall sound and approach.

Along with the likes of Hinds and Los Nastys, the members of the JOVM mainstay act helped bring Madrid’s music scene into the spotlight, eventually signing to renowned London-based label Heavenly Recordings, who released their critically applauded full-length debut, 2016’s Los Niños Sin Miedo. Since the release of their debut, the acclaimed Madrid-based have been busy: relentlessly touring the world, the band has won over fans with their sweaty and raw punk rock ferocity and mischievousness — all while gradually pushing the boundaries of their sound.

Garcia and de Lucas have been working on their highly-anticipated and long-awaited sophomore album. Reportedly, the forthcoming, Tom Furse-produced album will represent a new phase for the acclaimed JOVM mainstays with the duo gaining a bolstered sense of confidence in their creative processes and taking pride in surrounding themselves with people who inspire them. “[It] makes us feel very proud of ourselves. If anyone had told us that we could ever make our dream album exactly the way we wanted, we wouldn’t have believed it. It reflects all of our inner feelings and our influences, and we made it by keeping our circles of collaborators small with people we love and trust. This is what works for us.”

“Maldito,” the sophomore album’s first single finds them pushing their raw and melodic take on garage rock into more modern sonic territory with a slick studio polish and aass-driven motorik-like groove. While retaining a great deal of the scuzzy and distorted guitar driven and the rousingly anthemic hooks that have won them fans globally, the song finds the act experimenting a bit with autotunes — particularly on the song’s punchily delivered hook. But underneath the song’s slick polish, the song is a bittersweet meditation on the nuanced feelings involved in letting someone go including longing, regret and uneasy acceptance of the decisions that had to be made and their consequences on you and others. Interestingly, the song features a guest spot from multi-million selling Spanish rapper C. Tangana.

“There is a burden carried with every decision taken, not everything is as golden as it may look and therefore growing and changing implies pain and a feeling of emptiness that feels irreplaceable,” the band explains. ““For this song our inspiration came from things that were the closest to us, and that’s maybe the reason we were incapable to see them. The stop in the touring life and the time we’ve had to write has made us realize the distance we had created between our home and our people. Realizing this has made us feel closer than ever to our childhood references and to seek new ways to compose songs.” The band adds, “For a long time, we had the idea of writing a song with C. Tangana. We played him some demos and he loved them, so we spent some days in the studio to record the song.”

Directed by Rogelio for the renowned production company CANADA, which has helmed visuals for Rosalia, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa and countless others, the recently released video for “Maldito” is a gorgeously shot allegory that follows a lonely widower, who’s courted, followed and harassed by three characters as he goes about his daily routine through the streets of Madrid — a preacher, who apparently represents God/religion; a homeless man, who represents Death; and the Devil. The video manages to tackle the song’s themes while being funny. “We think the video for ‘Maldito’  is more akin to a movie than to a music video,” The Parrots say.  “Filming it was an amazing experience and made us discover a love for acting.” 

New Video: Follow Montreal’s Les Deuxluxes on a Campy “Star Trek” Inspired Romp Through the Galaxy

With the release of their critically applauded mini-album, 2014’s Traitement Deuxluxe, the Montreal-based psych rock duo Les Deuxluxes — vocalist and guitarist Anna Frances Meyer and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Etienne Barry — exploded across their native Quebec. Building upon a rapidly growing profile across the province, the duo released their critically applauded full-length debut, 2016’s Springtime Devil.

After Springtime Devil, the Montreal-based duo released a batch of attention grabbing singles, including a French translation of album title track “Springtime Devil,” “Diable du pringtemps.” Adding to a rapidly growing profile, the band played sets at Montreal Jazz Fest, Festival d’ete de Quebec, POP Montreal and M for Montreal — and they’ve opened for the likes of Lisa LeBlanc, Marjo, and Jon Spencer. They ended 2016 with a mini-tour of South America that included stops in Santiago, Chile; Valdivia, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and São Paulo, Brazil.

The duo isolated themselves in a 19th century church in the remote Quebec countryside, where the duo wrote and recorded last year’s sophomore album Lighter Fluid to tape. Released through Bonsound Records, the album’s material is centered around old school, power chord riffage and classic psych rock vibes. Now, if you were frequenting this site throughout the course of last year, you may recall that I wrote about the swaggering AC/DC-like album title track and pure ripper, “Lighter Fluid.”

Interestingly, Lighter Fluid’s latest single “Vacances Everest” climbed to the top of Influence Franco’s charts as a result of airplay on SiriusXM — and the track eventually found its way into rotation on CBC Radio 3. The track’s success shouldn’t be surprising: it’s a no bullshit, no filler, boogie woogie 12 bar blues ripper, centered around some Chuck Berry meets AC/DC like riffs, a thumping backbeat and Anna Francis Meyer’s sultry and self-assured crooning. But underneath the song’s bluesy stomp, the song lyrically is about the perseverance to overcome life’s obstacles and the idea of giving it all, even when you feel low.

Directed by frequent visual collaborator Ariel Poupart with artistic direction from Matthieu Turcotte, the recently released video stars Les Deuxluxes as a pair of intrepid space travelers who go on a campily retro-futuristic romp through the galaxy. Spaceships hurtling through the cosmos? Check. Shimmery space jumpsuits? Check. Laser guns? Check. Otherworldly landscapes? Check. Fights with weird humanoid creatures, who probably didn’t want to be bothered by humans? Check.

Visually, the video lovingly pays tribute to old Star Trek episodes, Jane Fonda’s Barbarella and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Queen of Outer Space among other things. “With Mathieu Turcotte, the video’s artistic director, we were inspired by iconic landscapes from Star Trek to come up with our own interpretation and blur the lines between the future and the past,” Les Deuxluxes say in press notes. “All the components in the video were created with recycled materials; from the scale model spacecraft to the 100% vintage outfits and the liquid light backdrops recreating the cosmos. Even in space, nothing is lost, everything is transformed!”

Throwback: Black History Month: Death

Today is February 21, 2021. It’s the 21at day of Black History Month. And as I’ve mentioned throughout this series, I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles — with the hopes that it’ll be a bit of a primer on the Black experience and on Black music.

Of course, I hope that these posts will serve as a reminder of these very important facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

etroit-based garage rock/punk rock act Death have one of the most interesting backstories I’ve come across in this site’s 10-plus year history, and it’s worth retelling: Formed by The Hackney Brothers — Bobby (bass, vocals), David (guitar) and Dannis (drums) — in 1971, the band began as an R&B and funk band. But the sibling trio’s lives were transformed after they caught The Who and Alice Cooper in concert. As the story goes, David, the youngest of the sibling trio pushed for a hard rock-like song unbeknownst to them managed to presage punk and post-punk by several years, Of course, a change in sonic direction necessitated a change in band name — to Death, As Bobby Hackney explained in 2010, David’s concept was spinning death from the negative to the positive. “It was a hard sell.”

In 1975, The Hackney Brothers recorded a handful of songs written by David and Bobby at Detroit’s United Sound Studios with engineer Jim Vitti. According to The Hackney Family, Clive Davis funded those recording sessions — but while doing so, repeatedly implored that the band change their name to something much more commercially palatable. The Hackneys refused. Davis pulled his financial support and as a result, the band was left with seven recorded songs instead of the planned for 12. By the following year, the band released an extremely limited release of 500 copies of the “Politicians In My Eyes”/”Keep On Knocking” single, followed by their full-length debut to little fanfare.

By 1977, The Hackneys ended Death and relocated to Burlington, VT where they released two albums of gospel rock as The 4 Movement in the late 70s and early 80s. In 1982, David returned to Detroit while Bobby and Dannis remained, eventually forming the reggae band Lambsbread. Sadly in 2000, David Hackney died of lung cancer. But reportedly before he died, David Hackney told his older siblings that although they were misunderstood and forgotten in their heyday, history would prove them and their work as Death as truly revolutionary and important — even if it was after his own death. In a serendipitous spin of fortune that seems too good to be true, several years after David’s death, Bobby’s sons stumbled upon the original Death masters hidden away in their parents’ attic. Bobby’s sons were so impressed and innpisred bay what they had heard, that they began covering Death’s material during their own sets — and that helped bring attention to their father’s and uncles’ work together.

Drag City Records, re-released Death’s original recordings in 2009, 35 years after its initial recording and release.The band’s sound which effortlessly meshed elements of reggae, garage rock, porto-punk and metal manages to presage the punk movement by three years — all while being an important musical bridge between Parliament Funkadelic and Bob Marley and Bad Brains, Fishbone, Living Colour, Lenny Kravitz, TV on the Radio, Prince and countless others.

Sine the re-release of their demos and full-length debut, the current Death lineup — surviving brothers Bobby (bass, vocals) and Dannis (drums) with Bobbie Duncan (guitar) — have gone on a number of national tours, including making stops across the national festival circuit, winning over new fans with their groundbreaking sound, while further cementing their rightful place in music history.

Punk rock is Black y’all. And being Black is punk as fuck.