Deap Vally | Femejism | Rating: 8/11 |
If the title of Deap Vally’s new record doesn’t make things clear, let me help you out: Deap Vally are not here for your foolishness. No, sir. They’re here to blow up the outside world from the delicate and ladylike perch of their womanhood, wrecking any and all absurd patriarchal tendencies lingering within society’s collective and individual hippocampus with their pretty little well-manicured hands. The album’s first single, “Royal Jelly,” confidently laid the groundwork for the grit and hustle Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards were all about, especially after walking away from a major label. Here the ladies are as playful as they wanna be (as opposed to as playful as you want them to be) and as scorch-the-Earth forward with riot gurl garage rock and punked up independence. While the soundtrack to their social commentary has been finer tuned with the help of Nick Zinner (notice Troy spends more time varying her vocal register than on Sistronix), Troy’s guitar riffs remain flagrantly fat and blues-filthy above Edwards’ consistently punchy power drums. Femejism is a perfectly imperfect album; it’s thematically consistent but resists the urge to pretty itself up or file down it’s sonic or lyrical edges. From the fetishization of the girl-child/woman-child in “Little Baby Beauty Queen” (which all but cites JonBenet Ramsey by name) and “Teenage Queen” to clearing the air on romantic/sexual miscues in “Julian,” Deap Vally have muscularly moved past mere “girl power”: Femejism is a woman’s work.