Review Summary: Am I in love? Why, yes I am.
Not a lot happens at a crochet meeting. The discussion of the latest knitting patters, perhaps? Or maybe the best way to cook those Yorkshire puddings? Rock and roll? Nah, never. Though the story of crochet bringing two incredibly attractive young musicians together may seem a hoax; drummer Julie Edwards stated that Crochet was indeed the element that brought the pair together “Its very rhythmic when you get into it, it requires coordination, creativity and muscle memory- just like our music”. From crochet an instant bond was developed over blues and garage rock, everything from Led Zeppelin to Robert Johnson and a loathing for the sugar coated pop drivel of today (queue Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry etc…).
Passionate anger is an age-old cosy comfort blanket when it is sung by the male social outcast, however in the hands of the female it really can embrace or fool you (Paramore’s latest album anyone?). In terms of its purposely misspelt name at least, Deap Vally get things spot on, cashing in on the presumed dumbness of todays rock and roll bands, while the LP’s title, Sistronix, is a sure play on another two piece, the White Stripes faux brother-sister relationship.
Kick drum. Reverb. One repetitive pounding note. “Come on everybody listen up”. Serious riff, very serious riff. The opening track and single to Sistronix, End of the World wallows in an unashamedly White Stripes vibe at their most pure, think Cannon, Fell in Love With a Girl and you got the idea. However, it is all very well to be an impressionist, but if an artist insisted on copying every Monet painting, a distinct identity would never be created and while Deap Vally have their forbears studied well, their sound, style and approach is unique enough to appeal, but isolate themselves from their forefathers. Heck, even Robert Plant unashamedly admits to copying his blues heroes and look where that got him.
It truly would be a waste of time to review each single from Sistronix separately. Baby I Call Hell supports itself on a treacle thick riff only sweetened by the chill creating voice of Lindsey Troy; Walk of Shame bashes its way through two minutes, turning its ironic title upside down. While Lies loose anger evokes that much-abhorred topic of Girl Power, (It aint 1995 anymore, is it?). The rest of Sistronix is equally good, if not better. Distorted riffs and even the odd political statement sprinkle the LP. What really shines through those is bands outstanding ability to make an immediately memorable song. Every inch of Sistronix is instantly accessible, sexy and adrenaline pumping rock. Even as the albums close nears the quality dial shows no sign of dimming, New Material sees the band at its most raw only to be followed by the sultry blues of the six minute epic closer Six Feet Under.
Having the pleasure to see this band live recently only made the duo more enthralling. Behind the seemingly brash image there is a fascinating fragility, the impending feeling that they are ever so close to the cliff, on the limit to falling apart, but somehow remaining to be ever-so stunning on stage.
Sistronix one of those rare LP’s that only reveal themselves every so often; Led Zeppelin I, Nirvana’s Bleach, The White Stripes. None of these are out and out classics but all retain an unprocessed rawness that makes them as entertaining as they are enthralling. Sistronix is one of these.