Album of the Week: Stream Deap Vally’s Brutalist Boogie Tantrum ‘Sistrionix’
Hear why this long-awaited power-blooz record is "like an A&R guy's worst nightmare"
Though Deap Vally’s Sistronix was written in the San Fernando Valley, it stomps and swaggers like vintage bayou boogie, with Lindsay Troy’s thick-as-a-brick blues riffs and Julie Edwards’ monstrous cavewoman beats proving that the dynamic duo can hold up to the hype. The album is a primer in how to have a good time, all the time, with the pair trading lines about the joys of hedonism (“Bad for My Body,” “Walk of Shame”). Liberation anthems are liberally doused in sick solos; it’s all manner of bawdy boss-bitch real talk wrapped up in garage punk brutalism. For their full-length debut, the duo’s goals in the studio were simple, says Troy: “We wanted to get it as raw and straightforward and raw as possible.” Sistronix leaves no doubt about what kind of band they are, or just how seriously they want to rock you. Read on for their track-by-track breakdown, and stream the album in full below.
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“End of the World”
Julie Edwards, drums/vocals: It’s a declarative song: Lindsay is telling everyone to “listen up!” So it’s kind of a nice way to start the record. It establishes a lot of what we are about: the heaviness; the confrontational, aggressive qualities; the unabashed rock’n’roll-ness. Once you hear this, you know what you are in for.
“Baby I Call Hell”
Edwards: We didn’t realize the acronym for this song was BICH until we were releasing the song as a single, and people we work with were sending emails back and forth about “BICH artwork.”
Lindsay Troy, guitar/vocals: This is the first song we wrote as Deap Vally — it’s very true to the form of how we initially conceived it. That song was a really simple blues riff that I came up with, and we just wrote a song around it. It’s our set opener, and it’s Deap Vally — it’s the genesis of our band.
“Walk of Shame”
Edwards: It was a concept before it was a song. We wanted to write it for about a year — it was a title before it was anything else. I have always hated the concept and find it offensive. It seems really backwards. So you slept somewhere that you didn’t expect to and maybe you are wearing last night’s clothing and you have smeary make up on or whatever — but why is that a walk of shame? It’s inconvenience, maybe. We wanted to take it back and turn it around and shame-anize it.
“Gonna Make My Own Money”
Troy: It’s a lyrical response to my parents teasing me about spending out of my means, saying, “You better marry a rich man!” I find that offensive — the suggestion that I am incapable of providing for myself. It’s about proving, as much of a fuckup as I am, I can provide for myself. It’s about independence and carving out your own success. <br>
Edwards: I am really into real-estate investment, so I added the line about “buy my own land.” I am really into looking up property on Zillo.com
Edwards: It’s our punk rock song. It’s a cautionary song about creepers — creepers being older guys who prey on young, impressionable women and erode their self esteem for the benefit of their own wounded older-man egos and little penises. If they find brand new young women, these women don’t realize what losers [they are]. When you finally grow older — you see it for what it is. You just cringe.
Troy: Celebrating the power of a man’s beauty. Women’s beauty has been celebrated in art for so long, but a man’s physical beauty is not as discussed. It’s about the bewitching quality of a striking man.
Troy: “Lies” was born out of a Christmas gift from Julie, a delay pedal — the riff came out of playing around with my new toy. Julie came up with this Diana Ross-style spoken bridge, and I think it’s fun.
“Bad for My Body”
Troy: Another song that was born in the studio — it’s a test-tube baby. I had the line “If our mothers only knew what trouble we get into,” and Julie added the line “But mother, dear, you did it too.”
“Women of Intention”
Edwards: It’s the song that crashes and burns live. It’s trying to clarify to someone why they should shut the fuck up and let us do our thing.
Troy: It’s one of our cross-genre songs. Julie came up with the vocal melody and the verse, and it took me a while, and it’s got this Michael Jackson contrapuntal/syncopated quality, but the guitar riff is Sabbath meets Zeppelin, and the chorus is a psych-blues jam. That song is like an A&R guy’s worst nightmare — it’s just a psych jam, it’s got no vocal, it’s got no anything, it’s all vibe and echoey creepiness.
“Six Feet Under/Spiritual”
Troy: It’s the other A&R-guy-worst-nightmare of a song. It’s six minutes long, it’s epic; that song is in no rush. It’s agonizing and heart wrenching — it’s meant to make you feel the lyrical content. It reaches the highest heights and the most unexpected moments. It’s the only song I play slide on. Julie does these operatic gothic-gospel vocals, but on that song, I am channeling Tina.