They might not have released their own album since 2016’s ‘Femejism’, but Deap Vally have remained productive. Last year saw them team up with the Flaming Lips for ‘Deap Lips’; back in February they released ‘Digital Dream’, an EP with guest spots from Warpaint’s Jennylee, Peaches and more. This time it’s a four-track release that suggests they’re testing the waters before they make their next stylistic move. ‘American Cockroach’ features two collaborative numbers; there’s ‘I Like Crime’, a fizzing scuzz-pop track that features new Eagles of Death Metal bassist Jenny Vee, and ‘Better Off with Nothing’, which is a very different beast. A brooding, sludgy post-punk track with Ayse Hassan of Savages, on which overlapping harmonic vocals stand in stark contrast to the ominous bass line, it’s a juxtaposition that shouldn’t work, so it’s to the LA duo’s credit that it really does. Opener ‘Give Me a Sign’ is also a long way from the furious rock and roll we’ve come to expect from Deap Vally; a softly swooning ballad that brings to mind another two-piece, The Kills, who took a similar turn with ‘The Last Goodbye’. The title track, meanwhile, is considerably closer to the Deap Vally we know; a swaggering punk track with a massive chorus. It might be that they’re figuring out their next move with ‘American Cockroach’, or maybe they’re just flexing their stylistic muscles. Either way, this is a triumph.
As featured in the May 2021 issue of DIY, out now. Scroll down to get your copy.
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