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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
"
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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 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


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scene blog

Creepoid

Creepoid Homecoming Celebration at Underground Arts April 23

After a short period in Savannah, Georgia, Creepoid returns home this evening headlining Underground Arts, and we collectively welcome them with open arms! The perpetually touring four-piece have a new LP Cemetery Highrise Slum scheduled for release on June 23 via Collect Records. One finds him/herself soothingly absorbed in the band’s alluring psych-rock cloud, swaying to the motion as the music effortlessly shifts in a heavier murky adrenaline-releasing grunge direction. Creepoid continuously finds a way to create multi-textured sounds that appear smooth yet retain a pleasant grit. Shari Vari dusk-creeping electronic/percussive endeavor, also known as Void Vision, keeps one on alert as the ever-present bounce of motion and eerie synth provide a sense of unavoidable tension, and the partially muted vocals increase the suspense. The trio of Gondola fully embraces the heavy guitar throttling - searing, sweat-dripping, psych-tinged, battle-tested, hard rock, letting the instruments open up and speak their minds. Dead Heavens the new project led by the legendary Walter Schreifels (Youth of Today, Guerilla Biscuits) rounds out the makings of a memorable evening. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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New Track: "Dried Out" - Creepoid

We're very excited that former Deli Philly Artist of the Year, Creepoid, are coming home to Philly after their short stint as southerners in Savannah, Georgia. You can welcome them home this Thursday, April 23 (well, before they hit the road again next week) when they headline Underground Arts. And check out their latest single, "Dried Out," which you'll find on the band's forthcoming album Cemetery Highrise Slum, due out June 23 via Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly's Collect Records.

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New Music Video: "Tired Eyes" - Creepoid

Below is an eerie new music video from the band Creepoid for the track "Tired Eyes," off last year's self-titled LP (No Idea). It was directed by Bob Jones, and filmed near their current stomping grounds in Savannah, GA. The band is presently on tour out west before performing at a plethora of shows later this month at SXSW. Creepoid also just announced that their new album Cemetary Highrise Slum will be available on June 23 via Collect Records. (Photo by Mitchell Wojcik)

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New Track: "American Smile" - Creepoid

Though Creepoid is currently setting up shop in Savannah, GA, there ties still remain strong here in Philly. We're always interested to hear new material from the grungy psych-rock four-piece and former Deli Philly Best Emerging Artist Year End Poll Winner. The band just shared the first single, "American Smile," from its forthcoming full-length album entitled Cemetery Highrise Slum, and also announced that the LP is slated for release on June 23 via Collect Records. It was produced and mixed by Peter Mavrogeorgis (The National, Sharon Van Etten, etc.). Creepoid is presently on tour out west with A Place To Bury Strangers, and will be heading across the pond for the first time this spring as a group to do a run of shows in the UK with Pity Sex.

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Legendary Divorce Opening for Creepoid & Amanda X at Boot & Saddle Dec. 27

Boot & Saddle must be in the holiday spirit, because tonight’s lineup is packed with talent from top to bottom. Let's start with the opener, Legendary Divorce, a four-piece who originally came together as a Nirvana tribute band for Halloween show in 2012. Their debut EP Make Me is a rugged blend of agitated aggression. The songs have a tendency to immediately pounce on one’s ears. Itarya Leo’s vocals occupy a space were pensive rage and sadness compact themselves. The unfiltered byproduct joins up with steady, slightly dark instrumental tones, which are forceful yet frayed. Leo’s voice etches a path through the noise-punk, thumping music like a fireball amid organized chaos. The soothing psych-shoegaze-y buzzsaw of Creepoid headlines the evening orchestrating a haunting beauty through ominous layers of noise that has a cathartic effect. The garage-pop power trio of Amanda X bridges the gap of their personalized sincere yet catchy tunes. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., 8:30pm, $12, 21+ - Michael Colavita


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