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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Residuels
"Love Songs
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Philly rock ‘n’ rollers Justin Pittney, Mike Cammarata, and Kyle Garvey (a.k.a. Residuels) revamp essential garage cuts on their latest release Love Songs. Available now via Suicide Bong Tapes, the three-piece’s cassette kick-starts with a full-throttle rendition of Rich Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel.” The power trio’s frenetic take on the song that put bands like Thee Headcoatees and Paul Revere & the Raiders on the map is far from derivative. From the very first lick of guitar, Pittney and his bandmates tap into the original fury at the center of “Have Love Will Travel,” using crashing riffs and uninhibited vocals reminiscent of The Gories.
 
Residuels’ take on The Damned’s debut single “New Rose” is similarly inventive, giving listeners an unadulterated taste of the original song’s rhythm and fuzz. Pittney channels Dave Vanian with ease, mimicking the legendary Londoner’s punk-as-fuck diction as if he wrote the track himself. Clocking in at a few seconds shy of three minutes, the second track on Love Songs is arguably one of the best renditions of the ‘76 single.
 
The same could be said for “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Opening with a guttural scream, the group’s tribute to psych-rock icons The 13th Floor Elevators is perfectly executed, with each chord and clash of cymbal adding to the instrumented intensity of the already well-loved garage classic. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” feels like a stubborn tantrum, the sonic manifestation of the sort of longing that is borne of desperation and pure desire that is mirrored in the album’s closer “It Girl.” Residuels’ jangly styling of one the most lovelorn (and heart-wrenching) tracks on The Brian Jonestown Massacre's fifth LP is equally captivating, despite being one of Love Song’s quietest tracks, leaving listeners smitten. For die-hard fans of garage rock and newcomers alike, Love Songs doesn’t just pay homage to the genre’s past; it celebrates its vibrant present. - Dianca London

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scene blog

Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

Album Review: Exorcism - Power Animal

The words of Power Animal may be obscured by a boatload of studio manipulation, but what they’re communicating is always clear: This is Feel-Good Music. Evident from Power Animal’s major-key synth hooks and disco percussions is a love of the kind of nostalgic sentimentality bands like M83 and Passion Pit maximize with unrelenting waves of keyboard and second-wave British invasion bands like The Kooks channel into plain-spoken love narratives. But unlike these late-aught champions of electronic-indie, Power Animal don’t do “pleasant” by blending every pleasant thing they could think of into an overwhelming pastiche. Instead of indulging dream-pop’s natural affinity for cheese and excess, Power Animal strip it down into the grimy, humble Exorcism, an EP that, with its bare-bones approach and subtle use of hooks, aims to reclaim the genre’s humanity. 
 
There’s no denying that Exorcism presents itself as “quirky.” The jerky keyboard lines and garbled vocals sound as if they’re culled from records warped by years of sitting in an attic (an image also brought to you by the record’s hazy, Mono production), and the wonky structure of its opening suite “Better Water” suggests the hippie-warbling excess Exorcism could’ve easily devolved into. But as the EP progresses, these cracks begin to reveal the sincere, very real character hiding underneath the saccharine signifiers. The little winks that pepper Exorcism’s excellent second half make it practically interactive. “Mold Spores” was already assured its place as the album’s best tune before the chuckle that slips through its second verse makes its glee infectious, as if we’re being let in on whatever great time Power Animal are scoring. By Exorcism’s eponymous closer, we’re sharing the record’s smile.
 
It could be a more “conventionally” pretty record, but it’d be worse for it. This ambitious kind of pop has a tendency to become weightless in its nostalgia-bating, and while Power Animal certainly capture the comfort nostalgia offers, they also capture its insubstantiality. Built from bits and fragments of pop-eras past, Exorcism sounds as if it could break apart at any moment. It holds together, of course, but as music that sounds like it wants to save the world through sheer positivity goes, Exorcism accomplishes something far more impressive: It actually manages to inspire the feelings it evokes.
 
You can purchase the album HERE, and all profits from digital sales will be donated to Philabundance, a local charity organization that provides food to the needy in the Philly area. - Adam Downer
 

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