Review: Deap Vally – ‘Femejism’

With the release of debut album ‘Sistrionix’ in 2013, Deap Vally breathed fire into an already established rock’n’roll template. Three years on, and there’s no shirking how much the duo have grown. Becoming touring members of other bands, even becoming a mother (in the case of drummer Julie Edwards), the worlds in which the two-piece inhabit have changed immeasurably. So it’s only natural that their sound has grown too.

‘Femejism’ embodies all the ferocity and freewheeling spirit of Deap Vally’s debut, expanding their palette to new frontiers. Rawer, more savage, more tightly honed, and equally as addictive, the outfit’s second record is both disarming and driving, packing a punch as strong as dynamite.

‘Smile More’ offers a similarly weighted message, taking societal expectations and shattering them into nothingness with a nudge, a wink, and a knowing smirk, whilst ‘Teenage Queen’ celebrates the idea of instant online infamy and at the same time slams that notion into the ground.

Sitting at the album’s midpoint ‘Critic’ is a true standout, departing from the duo’s usual loud and anarchic setup to offer a lingering sentiment of self-affirmation: “everyone is a fucking critic,” so you might as well do what you bloody well like.

‘Post Funk’ sees the band dive into dance along territory, a potent complement to the bell-like cries and call and response vocals that make ‘Two Seat Bike’ an instant sing along. ‘Little Baby Beauty Queen’ presents the duo verging on their most ferocious, and ‘Bubble Baby’ swaggers with an unparalleled attitude.

Pissed off and turned up to eleven, Deap Vally are screaming at the world and compelling it to listen. Releasing a collection of songs such as this, it’s high time everyone was paying attention.

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