Death Valley Girls

Spooky Cigarette, alongside LA bands Adult Books and Death Valley Girls, played at The Hideout on El Cajon Boulevard, bringing loud and powerful punk music all night.

Walking in, you were greeted by the bar’s chill atmosphere and sick psychedelic visuals onstage. Spooky Cigarette set up as everyone got their PBRs.

After vibing to some Gary Numan, the music faded out and Spooky Cigarette opened with their new wave banger “Oh Well.” Rhythm guitarist Pepe Gonzalez had some killer moves, shuffling his feet to the sweet jams. Later he got up on his own amp, playing an unreleased post-punk song where lead singer/keyboardist Frank Mindingall sings about wishing he was a polar bear. Mindingall later brought out a trumpet to finish the song with an amazing solo. Despite some technical difficulties with lead guitarist Jakob McWhinney popping a string and Mindingall’s keyboard cutting out towards the end, these dudes killed it with their 80’s punk influenced tunes.

Adult Books played next. Their laid-back slacker rock reflected their casual attire of plain tees and thrift store jackets. Under Los Angeles label Lolipop Records, these dudes brought a little piece of the “city of angels” music scene to San Diego with their reverb drenched, monotone vocals, and heavy usage of chorus effects on their guitars. Their sound also gives a nod to the 80’s, especially with one of the guitarists playing a vintage Roland synth.

Headliners Death Valley Girls brought amazing stage presence and engaged the crowd. Front woman Bonnie Bloomgarden’s dance moves were both sensual and exorcism-like during their whirlwind performance. In the middle of the set, the Bloomgarden took a pause to tell the crowd that she was happy that San Diego was the last stop on their “soul collecting” tour. She then proceeded to talk about Satan, praising the entity as a driving force in their passion for music. Towards the end of their set, she got off the stage and gave individual hugs to the people in the crowd, dancing intimately with them, one by one. She then got down on the floor, convulsing as she screamed into the mic. Whether you agree with their views or not, you got to admit—they’re a sick band.

Thanks to Pabst Music Society for supporting musicians in San Diego and elsewhere.

PHOTOS BY: ALEXANDER DANTES

VIDEO BY: HUGO DANTES

REVIEW BY: LUIS MIRELES