On Baghdad by the Bay, November 3nd: Interview with The Pleasure Kills and Zodiac Death Valley
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The Pleasure Kills
The Pleasure Kills started playing their signature combination of powerpop, new wave and punk in 2007. After three singles and two national tours in 2008 and 2009, they released the “Bring Me A Match” album in 2010 to critical acclaim and accompanied it with a six week national tour.
Their music evokes the 80s and is delivered through a mixture of catchy hooks, meticulous songcraft, and Lydiot’s superstar vocals. With razor-sharp guitar work, bubblegum keyboards, and driving uptempo beats, the sound is unabashedly fun! Blondie is the reference most frequently cited by reviewers along with touchstones like Nikki And The Corvettes, Josie Cotton, The Shivvers, and the “Valley Girl” soundtrack. While The Pleasure Kills’ music seems instantly familiar, attempts to nail down a genre reveal the uniqueness of the sound.
On the recordings, the songs are pop-perfect and lushly produced. But a toughness and grit underlie the sweetness, and when played live by the band they crackle with a punk intensity. There’s an obvious reverence for the art of timeless pop songs coupled with a conflicting desire to tear them apart.
Zodiac Death Valley
Producing simultaneously moody and sexy psychedelic rock, the Bay Area based ZODIAC DEATH VALLEY might sound like KINGS OF LEON had they been raised by Satanists as opposed to a traveling preacher. and what a superb time to be labeled as such. With every major music magazine Chicken Littling the epoch of a new psychedelic movement in rock (led by bands like MGMT, DEERHUNTER & ANIMAL COLLECTIVE)
ZDV offer a more straightforward and referenced take on their forbear’s vintage Haight-Ashbury sounds. That’s not to say they’re all hippie dippie and asking Alice when she was ten feet tall. With Nathan Ricker’s organ playing and frontman Nic Abodeely’s morose musings on tracks like “Methadone Mambo” and Whiskey Won’t Tell,” their mood is much more akin to The Doors or pre Darkside” Pink Floyd . Whether they are pigeonholed or not Zodiac Death Valley seem content that this is the final dusk for the Age of Aquarius. And like the serial killer they’re named after their music seems ready to pounce.