It’s the hardest thing in the world to be original. It can be equally hard to be unoriginal and do it well. It’s not as simple as playing what are practically note-for-note covers in a recognisable style. It takes real effort to get a pastiche just right.

Death Valley Girls don’t claim to be original, preferring instead to revel in the clarity of their influences. If you like Alice Cooper, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, MC5 or (at a pinch) Set the Controls For The Heart of the Sun-era Pink Floyd, you may find something to appreciate here.

You can also chuck The Pixies, The Horrors and Karen O’s reedy vibrato into that mix. Oh, and surfer punk. And every slightly gothy rock and roll band you ever saw play a rock club night over the years. Pick a rock outfit; Death Valley Girls sound a bit like them.

While this doesn’t help to make Darkness Rains especially memorable, it does offer a kind of comfort blanket for the soul. Short, sharp and pleasingly scuzzy, its strongest suit is the Manson Family-esque choral sing-alongs that break out during many choruses. ‘TV in Jail on Mars’, the album’s final track, drives this particular ghost Harley into the gloomy distance, suggesting that DVG might be a riot live.

The song titles are also a riot. ‘Born Again and Again’; ‘Unzip Your Forehead’; ‘Disaster (Is What We’re After)’; ‘Occupation: Ghost Writer’; Spinal Tap would do well to take a leaf out of DVG’s book when they finally come to release their goodbye record. ‘Wear Black’ cranks up a 50’s drive-through movie Wurlitzer to cut through the distortion. ‘Street Justice’ is pure, stupid pleasure.

The record manages to keep a pretty consistent level for its relatively brief running time. There are no languorous wig outs or folky interludes. Everything is cymbal heavy, riff loaded, and saturated in a sweaty glamour with no time for subtlety. ‘Abre Camino’ adds some John Carpenter synth to the mix, like the band wanted to soundtrack the long-overdue remake of Vampires. When the vocals land they’re pitched somewhere between Pat Benatar and Tina Turner.

It certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s a committed, charming throwback to the early years post-millennium, when rock did one of its perennial about-faces, away from prog-y electronica and back to the days when wearing leather and ripped white or red t-shirts was actively encouraged. Since then, the tide has ebbed and flowed pretty regularly. But rock and roll will never entirely die. Not while there’s a steady stream of boozy, hormone-enriched music pouring out of the taps.