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April 2014
Creepoid
"Creepoid
"
mp3
The perfect solace for winter’s passing, Creepoid’s second full-length self-titled LP combines the zeitgeist of 90's grunge with pristine dissonance and somber lyricism. Released earlier this month by No Idea Records, Creepoid is eerie, melodic and stirring from beginning to end. 

The record’s introductory track “Nauda” opens with a singular note that swells into a melody, aligning itself with the listener in a way that feels confessional yet synonymous. A well-wrought continuation of the earnest diction reminiscent of Horse Heaven, “Nauda” is as bittersweet as its vocals, informed by the paradox of loneliness and longing. Expanding into a cinematically moody soundscape, guitars wail like sirens, beckoning chords to crash and settle into a fading ricochet - a premonition of “Sunday.” Coupled with acoustic strums and crisp vocal croons, a solemn request, “take my light and pull it out,” is beautifully melodic with perfectly placed tambourine that brings to mind the memorable mood concentrated. Exploring the affect and consequence of relational presence and its subsequent absence, the orchestration of “Sunday” renders a relatable narrative evocatively raw and sincere. 

“Yellow Wallpaper” ignites with driving bass and swirling riffs. As if resurrecting the perfection of Jeremy Enigk (ex-Sunny Day Real Estate), a la “Killed By An Angel” meets “Pillars,” the song evokes an eerie all consuming sense of the sublime that centers the track’s duration. Like an extension of Horse Heaven’s “Hollow Doubt,” the contextual weight of “Yellow Wallpaper” is harmonically haunting and intentionally poignant. “Baptism” washes over its listener in waves of riffs and echoed vocals that occupy an emotive territory similar to lesser-known tracks by Sonic Youth, subverted and painted darker by the brooding buzz reminiscent of shoegaze greats like My Bloody Valentine. 

In its decline, “Baptism” casts a feeling of transcendent submersion, befitting its namesake. With a crystallized aggression, “Gout” does the same - urgent and arresting with visceral shouts and screams. “Stay Inside” is considerably more subdued than the album’s preceding tracks but equally mesmerizing, unfolding “Tired Eyes,” a hypnotic chant of a fatigued psychedelic. “Golden String” feels slightly optimistic, while “Acrimony” blossoms then retracts into a reserved yet deliberate ballad that demands its audience’s attention like a gloomy lullaby with teeth. “Vulgar,” warm and sunlit, is lush and arresting, setting the stage for the album’s closer “Old Tree,” a jubilant ending to yet another epic compilation of clairvoyant anthems evoked by Creepoid. - Dianca Potts 


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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!


Album Review: Habits, 'Unselves in Arrival'

Emerging like a phoenix from the garbage pile of the internet, Habits, the sample-based one man show created by Dustin M. Krapes, has finally released his collection of songs as a full length LP, 'Unselves in Arrival.' Most of the songs that make up this collection would be as much at home at a dancehall as they would be at the Church on York. To categorize this as electro rock, or synth pop, or at all for that matter, severely undercuts the scope of his work. I can merely, at my best, describe it as a chopped up, caffeinated, cut and paste collage of found sounds from music's past tailor-made for the future. This is one of the albums that should surely be buried in 2014's time capsule, perhaps sent in a rocket to whatever planet we end up colonizing next.
Trite as it may sound, the bombardment of submissions from kids playing music like it's a video game, is overwhelming, and their efforts, more than underwhelming. Not only is Habits' music commenting on this aspect of our modern age, it's beating them all at their own game. - Jacqueline Caruso

To continue reading the full review, click here.

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April 2014
Habits
"Unselves in Arrival
"
mp3

Emerging like a phoenix from the garbage pile of the internet, Habits, the sample-based one man show created by Dustin M. Krapes, has finally released his collection of songs as a full length LP, 'Unselves in Arrival.' Most of the songs that make up this collection would be as much at home at a dancehall as they would be at the Church on York. To categorize this as electro rock, or synth pop, or at all for that matter, severely undercuts the scope of his work. I can merely, at my best, describe it as a chopped up, caffeinated, cut and paste collage of found sounds from music's past made for the future. This is one of the albums that should surely be buried in 2014's time capsule, perhaps sent in a rocket to whatever planet we end up colonizing next.
Trite as it may sound, the bombardment of submissions from kids playing music like it's a video game, is overwhelming, and their efforts, more than underwhelming. Not only is Habits' music commenting on this aspect of our modern age, it's beating them all at their own game.
From "Dark Matter of Fact" to "Heavy Color," his compositions are the perfect soundtrack to a speed-laced night time stroll through the streets of Tokyo. "Snkchrmr" fits this category, as well as many others, but its minimalist, quirky video game sound design samplings undergirding the spoken word style vocals make it a standout, as it does as much as the others, with less.
Krapes' similarity in vocal texture and songwriting stylings have been compared to early Beck many times over, even by this publication. It's an easy reference, but a welcome one nonetheless. No song makes this more obvious than "Toymakr." His silver-tongued stream of consciousness pays homage to those early days when Beck was just beginning to leave his mark. There's no way to fault him for this influence, since he pulls it off so well, using absurdism against itself.
Of all the forward thinking songwriters of the late 90s/early aughts who also acted as their own producers (Beck, Eels), Habits most closely resembles the perhaps lesser known, Self. His extremely self-aware sarcasm that brilliantly mocked pop culture, appropriately pairing musical styles with corresponding commentary, made his biting lyrics digestible because of his impeccable production. Like Self, Habits is able to lift his songwriting right off the page and call your eardrums to attention. Making a good song that you can dance to is something Krapes can pull off blindfolded, with both arms tied behind his back. What makes this project, and this album, so noteworthy, is not only the musical complexities, or even the catchy riffs, but the fact that he doesn't allow you to consume what he's dosing out in partitions - you must swallow his pill whole, scathing social commentary down the hatch with the glitchy dance beats and clever hooks.
Previously featured on our site as a single last year, "Haacksaw" is the centerpiece to the album. Like the movements of a symphony, the arrangement bounces back and forth between laid-back new age vibrations and balls to the wall rock choruses. "Haacksaw" cuts to the core of his varied themes on a soul wandering endlessly in the machinery of the computer age.
Throughout the album, between the clever lines, dancing beneath the myriad synth lines, is an undercurrent of loneliness - a longing. It would be presumptuous of me to assume that Krapes himself is desperate for human connection in a world obsessed with communication's lowest common denominator. What seems more likely, is his observation of what we've become. More connected than ever, at all times plugged in, the kinetic energy between two souls that make actual eye contact has been forgotten - and perhaps the true outcome of this, like withdrawing from a drug, is that there is now even more power in that first glance. Stream 'Unselves in Arrival' from Habits' Bandcamp page, and order the cassette through Fleeting Youth Records. - Jacqueline Caruso

Stream: Priscilla Ahn, "Diana"

The new album by the soft-spoken, inventive songstress, Priscilla Ahn, 'This Is Where We Are', was released earlier this year. It's a gutsy departure from her more acoustic offerings, and our ears are delighted. Lead single, "Diana," has all the sweetness, euphoria, and mystery of paragliding across a rainbow. Quirky, and at times aggressive soundscapes dance between serenading melodies. Her intimate and heartbreaking qualities are still on full display, especially on the ballad, "Remember How I Broke Your Heart." Filled with delicate instrumentation and breathless harmonies, this is Ahn in her purest form. The entire album seems to be a push and pull between comfort and exploration. Stream "Diana" below and catch her live set at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on May 30. - Jacqueline Caruso

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The Donkeys unveil new track from upcoming album "Ride the Black Wave"

San Diego quartet The Donkeys previously released two sumptous, country-laden albums under the Dead Oceans imprint. Its dust-drenched melodies and stately arrangements were slack to say the least, but there was something about those twanging guitars that filled the room with a warm glow. Now under new LA-based label Easy Sound, they're making their return with Ride The Black Wave, a slightly more ambitious effort that continues their tradition of melding chiming Americana hooks with the lush swing of seventies FM radio. Take a listen to the single "Scissor Me Cigs" below, a swaying pop ballad that nestles one with effortless ease. See them live at Church on York on June 6th. 

 

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Jeffertitti's Nile Sophomore Album 'The Electric Hour' due out April 29

Jeff "Jeffertitti" Ramuno may be best known for playing bass with Father John Misty, but he's doing just fine on his own. Of all the emerging psych rock bands in LA, and there are plenty, the crown belongs to Jeffertitti's Nile. They are in great company, but with their upcoming sophomore release, 'The Electric Hour,' they have (for now) solidified themselves as leaders of the pack. The energy of the cosmos, like the intangible ether inside a crystal ball traveling the edges of space-time, is packed into every nanosecond of every song. The deeper down the rabbit hole you go with these cosmic warriors, the further from reality you get, and the closer to a mystic truth steeped inside a universe with infinite dimensions. Jeffertitti's Nile are making music like its a movement. Stream lead single, "No One," and get lost in their sonic web. 'The Electric Hour' is due out April 29 on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond. - Jacqueline Caruso

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Dot Hacker to Release Limited Edition 7" For Record Store Day April 19

Mixing alt-rock with art-rock, Dot Hacker's music feels like the force of a tidal wave made purely of sound. The four-piece, formed by Red Hot Chili Peppers touring member, Josh Klinghoffer, and rounded out by road-worn touring musicians, Clint Walsh, Eric Gardner, and Jonathan Hischke, have planned a special 7" for Record Store Day on ORG Music. Two songs will make up this limited edition release, featuring the lead single, "Whatever You Want." Front and center are Klinghoffer's powerful vocals, grabbing you by the collar in the first 6 seconds and soaring like a fighter jet until the screaming end. At its heart, the tune is a hard hitting rock anthem, but the layers and layers of meticulous soundscapes at every transition are what make it well worth the repeat listens - (pay close attention to that tremolo effect on the bass). The 7" will be available April 19 with a sophomore full length expected later this year. - Jacqueline Caruso

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Video: Tapioca & the Flea "Take It Slow"

Tapioca & the Flea are an electro-pop quartet that meshes chromatic synths into their bracing, hand-waving choruses. They've just released a video for the track "Take It Slow", which features the band performing in the midst of a bitter quarrel between a couple, as it reminds us of their most brutal and compassionate moments through abrupt juxtaposed images. The track, which was produced by Crystal Castles' Ethan Kath, will appear on one side of a limited edition split 7" that will be available on Record Store Day. And speaking of which, catch their in-store set at Amoeba Music this Saturday at 6 pm.

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