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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
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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 

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


Go to the old Top 300 charts

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!


EP Review: Apartment 3's Porch View

New England seems to have the whole lo-fi garage rock thing on lockdown recently. Burlington, VT’s Apartment 3 have added further evidence to that statement with their recent EP, Porch View. Heavily soaked in 90s indie rock sound (think Pavement or Built to Spill), these guys pump some insane energy through your headphones. I thought the vocals on these tracks were great--screams, shouts and everything in between. Most of the time it sounds like the singer drank a six pack and started belting out whatever immediately came to mind.

For more info about Apartment 3, check out their Facebook page.

 -Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

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The Deli's SXSW 2015 Issue is out digitally!

Ladies and Gents,

The SXSW 2015 issue of The Deli can be now read online here. 10k copies of this baby will flood the streets of Austin during SXSW Music Week.

It will be a busy time for us as usual, with the madness of the Stompbox Exhibit in full swing, joined this year by a sister expo called Synth Space!

So yeah... if you are attracted to nerds, come and see us at the SXSW Music Gear Expo inside the Austin Convention Center from March 19 to March 21 (11am-6pm)!

We'll also have a small live showcase, here are the details:

THE DELI'S SXSW 2015 SHOWCASE

FACEBOOK EVENT
WHEN: Friday 03.20, 4pm
WHERE: FLatstock Stage (Austin Convention Center)

4.00 Prinze George (DC Area)
4.45 Lazyeyes (Brooklyn, NY)
5.30 Roger Sellers (Austin)

See y'all in Austin!

The Deli's Staff


Unwind with Saint Lou This Weekend

Friday nights were made for whiskey drinkin' and relaxin', so why not start your Friday evening early with a few tracks from Burlington, VT's Saint Lou? The group's latest EP, The Buffalo Tapes, is a great mix of folk/blues/50s doo-wop grooves. It's the kind of stuff that makes you want to pour a glass of whiskey, kick off your shoes and soak up the weekend. The band will be on tour for a few dates in April and May, with a smattering of gigs in Vermont and NYC.

For more updates about the band and their current shows, click here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

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Alpenglow tours + plays Rough Trade on February 19

Having been hard at work on their new LP for the past few months, Alpenglow is getting ready to stretch their wings and debut a full set of new songs in a mini tour of the Northeast. The new album, which is being produced by Sam Cohen (of The Yellowbirds), promises for an even trippier, more insightful continuation of their lonesome-traveler, psych-folk sound, drawing from the essence and experience of perhaps one too many New England winters, and translating their move to Brooklyn into audible incentives by which to live. The psych-soul underlining of Cohen’s vision will introduce only the most effectual tonal brilliance to Alpenglow’s already established soul-searching sound. The tour stops at Rough Trade on February 19, with support from Barsuk Records’ Laura Gibson and Wild Leaves . –JP Basileo

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