Death Valley Girls – Darkness Rains
It’s been over two years now since I interviewed Death Valley Girls singer and guitarist Bonnie Bloomgarden. It wasn’t for my first or last feature story on someone you might associate with the West Coast rock ‘n’ roll scene, but it certainly stood out over the usual chats about touring life, inside jokes and musical inspiration. Without hesitation, she explained the metaphysical origins of rock ‘n’ roll and spoke of artists like Iggy Pop as if they are ministers for a higher power. She’s just furthering such rock gods’ missions here on Earth. Was some of it far-fetched? Yeah, but I’d rather have her or someone like conspiracy theorist Matt Pike tell their whole truth than have the same old conversation with a punker or a cowboy.
That interview – and the quality of prior albums – made checking out Darkness Rains a must.
The aforementioned Iggy Pop loves the band and even eats a hamburger, Andy Warhol style, in the music video for album cut “Disaster (Is What We’re After).” Iggy’s fandom and the Stooges-style filth captured on several tracks, namely “More Dead” and “Abre Camino,” really does make Bloomgarden and her bandmates seem like his musical progenies.
Beyond odes to Minister Iggy, Death Valley Girls’ sound also incorporates garage nuggets (“Wear Black”) and Black Sabbath-style blues rock (“Street Justice”). Despite their spooky titles, these songs conjure up visions of biker rallies, not séances. They make up a would-be soundtrack to Tura Satana kicking ass in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and not William Shatner’s battle with Satan in The Devil’s Rain. Although the enchanting song with the best Misfits song title that never was, “TV in Jail on Mars,” might remind you of The Devil’s Rain’s melting scene featuring young John Travolta.
Death Valley Girls