Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle asked Zodiac Death Valley to describe its sound. Here’s the band’s answer:
“Like walking alone through an old junkyard at night after the first rain of the season. Puddles and strange shapes in the distance. An evil dog and some squatters watching from behind the heaps of wrecks while you get deeper into the maze. Then just as you feel the voyeur’s breath on your neck and the dog’s bark growing louder, you see the gatekeeper with his flashlight coming to guide you out. In his other hand is a cold beer for you.”
It’s amazing how spot on that is. A bit pretentious and purposefully vague, yes, but also a pretty vivid word painting of ZDV’s skronky, bluesy fuzz-rock. These dudes borrow liberally from their hometown’s storied culture, dabbling in the psychedelica of Haight-Ashbury in the ’60s, the pot-smoke cloudiness of the ’70s, the hedonist ’80s and a thick layer of the Tenderloin District’s eternal grit.
Add in a healthy dose of snarl and swagger, a reputation for a scorching live show and an apt but over-the-top name, and you’ve got one of the more interesting pure rock ’n’ roll bands to come out of the Bay Area in a while. Begin digging in at www.zodiacdeathvalley.com.
Zodiac Death Valley; 8 p.m. Tuesday; $2-$5; The Horned Hand, 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., Bend; www.reverbnation.com/venue/thehornedhand.