Death Valley Girls – Under The Spell of Joy review

During the press cycle for Under The Spell of Joy, lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden revealed it’s essence, it having been missed from the general notes released about their fourth album, one on which the LA goth-rockers have turned their horizons almost upside down.

“I thought that these songs could be mantras or chants” she told American Songwriter, thereby explaining both the album’s structure and the presence at one point of a children’s choir. If that all sounds a bit yoga-by-the-pool-at-7am, the band – originally the brainchild of former Hole bassist Patty Schemel and brother Larry – still draw inspiration from a fair amount of rock necromancy in Black Sabbath, The Velvet Underground and The Cramps.

Under The Spell of Joy manages to sound both hippy and Hell’s Angel, proves (again) that almost no song isn’t radically improved by the addition of a saxophone, and showcases a keen reverence for sixties psychedelic pop and in places the all girl groups of the same era. True, there’s a deliberate air of kitsch to songs like Dream Weaver and the organ-toting Bliss, but it’s the title track which will entrap you with it’s magick, a song with a chorus which was made to be chanted as the candles burn low and your hand-holding group finally makes contact with the other side.

You can read the full review here.


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