Clash (magazine) - "Having nailed the snarling rock sound, it's also refreshing to hear elements of punk and grunge making an appearance too, all while exploring themes of love and self-assurance lyrically."
Personnel: Nathaniel Eras, Julie Edwards, Lauren Fay Levy, Nick Zinner, Lindsey Troy (hand claps).
Audio Mixer: Lars Stalfors.
Recording information: Seahorse Studios, Downtown, LA.
Photographers: John Stavas; Rachel McCollum.
With effortless cool and a whole lot of attitude, San Fernando garage rock duo Deap Vally expand on their early White Stripes-meets-Black Keys assault with addictive grooves and space to breathe on their sophomore outing, Femejism. Produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, Femejism is an unpolished, rough-hewn delight that satisfies visceral urges while pushing Deap Vally in new directions. Singer/guitarist Lindsey Troy restrains her wild delivery on a few tracks -- like the spare and spiteful acoustic "Critic" -- allowing a new side to shine with vocals reminiscent of fellow hard-rocking sisters. Hints of Zinner's bandmate Karen O bubble up on the stomping "Little Baby Beauty Queen" and the skittering "Julian." Alison Mosshart's brooding looms over opener "Royal Jelly" (which appropriately sounds like the Kills and Dead Weather), "Heart Is an Animal," and "Teenage Queen," while the unaffected air of Australian bard Courtney Barnett drifts through "Gonnawanna" and "Smile More." That latter track, which also absorbs the confidence of Chrissie Hynde and Poe, is the spiritual centerpiece of Femejism, an honest declaration of self, warts and all. As Troy delivers each biting lyric, her riffs continue to crush and fizz, ever indebted to Led Zeppelin and Jack White. Drummer Julie Edwards holds everything together with wild beats that land more like punches to the gut than the sharp stabs found on 2013's Sistrionix. Femejism is also more fun than its predecessor, sultrier ("Post Funk"), wilder ("Grunge Bond"), and more playful ("Two Seat Bike"). While comparisons and familiar tones abound, they shouldn't detract from what Troy and Edwards excel at delivering. They mostly serve as touchstones to lock Deap Vally into the ranks of similar artists as genuinely concerned with rocking listeners into sweet submission. ~ Neil Z. Yeung