2019-10-18T20:12:28Z 2019-10-18T20:12:28Z

Death Valley Girls performing at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas

Death Valley Girls | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Death Valley Girls performing during the Fall Tour 2019 at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas on October 16, 2019.
Death Valley Girls feels less like a band and more like a travelling caravan. At their core, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel channel Death Valley Girls’ modern spin on Fun House’s sonic exorcisms, early ZZ Top’s desert-blasted riffage, and Sabbath’s occult menace.

Their relentless touring schedule means that the remainder of the group is rounded out by whichever like-minded compatriots can get in the van. On their third album Darkness Rains, bassist Alana Amram, drummer Laura Harris, and a rotating cast of guests like Shannon Lay, The Kid (Laura Kelsey), and members of The Make Up, The Shivas, and Moaning help elevate the band from their rogue beginnings to a communal ritualistic musical force. On the surface level, Death Valley Girls churn out the hypercharged, in the red, scuzzy rock every generation yearns for, but there is a more subversive force percolating beneath the surface that imbues the band with an exhilarating cosmic energy.

“Learn from the stars and beyond! Be happy and thankful we got to live together on Earth at the same time! And death is just a shift—stay alive and awake,” Bloomgarden and Schemel respond when asked for a final thought on Death Valley Girls. “Embrace the darkness and don’t fear the Reaper.”
Setlist for the show at Emo's Austin
  • Abre Camino
  • Street Justice
  • More Dead
  • Death Valley Boogie
  • Disco
  • Pink Radiation
  • I’m a Man Too
  • Wear Black
  • Disaster (Is What We're After)
  • Electric High

Death Valley Girls shared the stage with The Distillers at Emo's Austin. The band continues across the United States with the last stop at the Lodge Room Highland Park in Los Angeles, California on November 23, 2019.

Death Valley Girls
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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