Posts Tagged ‘Death Valley Girls’

Larry Schemel on Opal – Happy Nightmare Baby

L.A. musician Larry Schemel’s almost over qualified for the Hidden Gems column, having created a few of them himself. The guitarist has held down time in ‘90s underground faves Kill Sybil/Sybil and Midnight Movies, contributed to The Flesh Eaters repertoire and has been anchoring Death Valley Girls for the last few years. Larry certainly seems like a source of some deep shelf picks for this column so I reached out to see what he might recommend. He picked a favorite that I share as well, opting for the sole LP proper from Opal. Hear how this pre-Mazzy Star nugget came into his life and the impact it has had on him over the years.

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Death Valley Girls – “Hold My Hand”

There’s a raucous spirit that inhabits the first single from the upcoming Death Valley Girls’ LP. Nailed to whatever ghosts used to inhabit the garage barrage of a few years back, DVG take the best elements of that California crunch and make the jump to an untethered fuzz pop that’s pulling at a hip-swung rhythmic pulse. They’re able to funnel the cracked window crush that flew through blurred psych-pop divining rods like Crocodiles and soul-soaked party poppers like Shannon and the Clams alike. With a swaying organ and ten-foot tall riffs the song isn’t short on impact, but its the shout-along vocals that make it feel like an anthem in a time when its hard to get the motivation to move, let alone dance. And as far as pandemic prepped videos go, this one’s got my vote for style. Its been a struggle to avoid the band members in isolation feeling, but the barrage of paintings that populate the screen reach out like handmade cards catapulted into consciousness from afar. The band’s new record, Under The Spell of Joy lands October 2nd on Suicide Squeeze.

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