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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
"
mp3
Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
 
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
 
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
 
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
 
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
 
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

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Announcing The Deli Philly’s 5th Anniversary Bash on Oct. 5 at PhilaMOCA w/Night Panther, Literature & Much More!

Announcing The Deli Philly’s 5th Anniversary Bash on Oct. 5 at PhilaMOCA w/Night Panther, Literature & Much More!

Howdy!

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be celebrating The Deli Philly’s 5th Anniversary on Saturday, October 5 at PhilaMOCA. And headlining our soiree will be the sexy, polished sounds of Night Panther, whose self-titled debut LP is our September Album of the Month. Their live performance keeps getting better every time we see them. We’re expecting big things in the near future from these guys and gal! Also, if you haven’t checked them out yet, then we are happy to introduce you to Austin transplants Literature. They released one of the most impressive power-pop albums, Arab Spring, that we’ve come across in years, which is most likely why it is getting re-pressed on vinyl and released on CD in Japan via Waterslide Records. This will be your last chance to catch the group live before the band heads off to tour the UK. We also plan to announce more special guests so stay tuned!

OK, so I injured myself earlier this summer, and have spent way too much time the last couple of months in bed watching Netflix, catching up on TV series like Breaking Bad and Mad Men that are on channels my illegal cable doesn’t provide, which inspired me to want to do something special this year. And since having a meth rager didn’t sound all that glamorous for our anniversary and by request of some of my gal pals, I deciding to go with a theme party for the latter, adding a bit of sophistication and great looking outfits to the evening. So dig out your finest vintage attire, and join us for martinis and plenty of hard stuff on the rocks or neat at our rad free cocktail hour before the music showcase. We’ll be giving away neat prizes, like R5 show passes and your own personal bottle of Jameson (like mine ;o), for the best time-warping outfits. You’ll also get the first glimpse of PhilaMOCA’s month-long “Halloween Horrors” art show because Halloween should be everyday. Mark it on your calendars, punch it in your iPhones, or do whatever you need to do to remember to get weird with us! 

Much love,
Q.D. Tran & The Deli Staff
 
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