Those interested in hearing the rekindled roar of early 90s rock and roll flavored with a touch of D.C.’s early punk roots ought to make their way to the Black Cat on March 27 to savor the release party of Falls Church-based Death By Sexy’s debut LP.
That is, if you dare.
Turns out, there’s kinda, sorta, maybe a little bit of a curse that surrounds their first full-length work.
Having started work on the LP in the summer of 2007, the slow-moving process was continuously sidetracked by, um, “incidents.” None of them directly involved the band, comprised of frontman Jason Griffenhagen, bassist Christian Baldo and drummer Dex Fontaine. They just involved those around them.
“Every time we went in to record it, something happened,” Griffenhagen says. “The first time, the engineer’s laptop completely shut down for like six months so we couldn’t get the files off of it after recording at Inner Ear Studios [in Arlington]. After that, we had someone else re-record some overdubs … and their $3,000 compressor blew up. One of his mics blew up too. Then we were doing a photo shoot. The guy’s flash broke in the middle of it, then when he got home he found out the whole camera was broken and all the photos were corrupted. When we started mixing it, the guy we were mixing with had to go to the hospital. Then we sent it to get it mastered. The guy was working on it for about three days, when the files got corrupted and he had to start the whole thing over again.
“We definitely started thinking this thing was cursed, so we changed the album name to Curse The Curse.”
And what finally proved to be the solution to the hex? It wasn’t chicken bones, witch doctors or a ritualistic sacrifice.
“The spell was broken when we actually started paying people to do the work, that seemed to speed the process up a little bit,” Griffenhagen says. “I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with anyone, but when you pay them, they tend to focus their energies more on it.”
The final, if delayed, result shows off Death By Sexy’s signature sound of fuzzy, highly-caffeinated rock and roll. It’s a sound “Pop Drivel” characterized by saying: “If indie pop is a Power Ranger, then Death By Sexy is Chuck Norris.”
That description is almost as colorful as their own, posted on their MySpace page that announces their sound is what would happen if the White Stripes, New York Dolls, Nirvana and a slew of other hard-rocking bands were “poured into your sister’s underwear drawer and melted everything inside.”
“Huh,” Griffenhagen says when asked about the description. “That’s not supposed to be up there. We’re much more refined now. We know which fork to eat with and everything.”
You can see Death By Sexy’s new refinement for yourself at the Black Cat next Friday, when they team up with the Blackjacks and Cobra Collective on the main stage to debut Curse The Curse. Bring $10 to get in … and maybe a few shamrocks and rabbits’ feet wouldn’t hurt either.
• For more on Death By Sexy, visit www.deathbysexy.net.