It is surprisingly hard to find information on Drop Dead Venus on the internet. A search for “Drop Dead Venus” in Google brings up, at first, all the standard social media profiles, all pimping their early November release, Be Brave, a collection of tracks lead singer Iva Moskovich said they “didn’t intend on showing…to anyone.” Absent from Be Brave are previously-released singles Electric Teen Rent and I Kill Foxes. This collection’s release, they say, is to raise money for a proper 2013 debut LP.
A few interviews come up, too, but background on the trio of Bulgarian transplants to Deptford, London is relatively scarce (and what does exist is several pages deep).
Be Brave is a dark, unsettling album that flies in the face of current popular music’s more upbeat rhythms and danceable quality. The songs are not happy, and even the love songs are dismal. Squealing guitar, jarring piano and a plodding tempo set the disjointed background for Moskovich’s deadpan, breathy, echoing vocals – they call the sound “Junk Jazz.”
The stand-out, I think, would be third track “Marry Me” – it grabs the listener’s attention with strong piano fit for the pre-climax of a horror movie, the lyrics fittingly including “I want to crush your ribs” and “I want to stab your thigh like I stabbed your name in the sand.”
The leading track, single “Love in Vein,” seems to be a (potentially accidental) nod to the Velvet Underground, both musically and (potential) lyrically – the jury is still out on if it’s about heroin or not.
The whole album is a rollercoaster – it’s quiet and it’s loud, it’s timid and it’s violent, it stalls and it thrashes all at once. One thing it isn’t, however, is calming; abused guitar and minor piano chords keep the listener on edge, forcing him to feel the band’s own anxiety. Nothing seems to quite reach the level of Electric Teen Rent intensity-wise, though the tail end of Kamen comes somewhat close, albeit considerably tinnier sounding (probably having to do with the DIY nature of Be Brave’s having been recorded in Drop Dead Venus’ apartment). Be Brave does not finish with a bang, but with Piano Improvisation Number 2, just the piano and Moskovich, a fitting, personal close to a compilation originally intended for the band’s ears alone.