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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 

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


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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!


Review of Cherry Mellow's "Oddie & I"

It’s Monday! Isn’t that great?! Regardless of the feelings you may or may not have for this particular day of the week, Boston’s Cherry Mellow have recently released a new song that serves as the perfect distraction from whatever mundane reality you’re currently facing. The swaying arpeggios and steady bass drum of "Oddie & I" create an accurate representation of what it feels like to be alone in your apartment and drunk at 3AM. The plus side of listening to this song is that when it’s over, you aren’t left waking up with a massive headache under your dining room table.

Keep your ears open for more music and updates from the band via their Facebook page.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)


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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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Show Alert: Future Spa at Club Bohemia, 4/25

Upon first listening to Ripped by Future Spa, I was immediately faced with two questions: why the hell did this band wait until now to send this to The Deli (it was released in June of 2014) and why the hell have I not heard these songs before? Surf-punk, lo-fi garage rock--I could list more random sub-genres, but no one would be interested in reading them anyway. These guys have a great sound--wicked loud, wicked fast rock n’ roll. If Raw Power isn’t a collective band favorite of theirs, I would be very surprised. They’ve got a show coming up at Club Bohemia on April 25, which will probably be pretty rad. They'll be accompanied by Miami Doritos, Greasy Hearts and Dinoczar. You can check out the details here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

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Rebuilder To Release Debut Album on 4/3 at O'Brien's, presented by Bishop and Rook

Boston pop-punk rockers Rebuilder will be releasing their debut album, Rock & Roll in America, on April 3 at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, MA. Local punks Choke Up and Bundles will be joining-in on the raucous fun, along with solo artist/effects loop-maker extraordinaire Sun Dog. DJ Mateo Williams (WMBR’s Late Risers Club) will supply some tunes in between sets to save you from having to awkwardly interact with fellow concertgoers while the bands set up. Oh, and did I mention the festivities will be brought to you by our pals over at Bishop and Rook? Well, now you know; and knowing is half the battle.

If you’re curious about what the new Rebuilder material sounds like, you can stream “The National Bohemian”, the first track off of Rock & Roll in America, here.

For more info about the album release show, click here. For more info on Rebuilder, visit their Facebook page.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

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