Artist of the Month

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April 2015
"Skull Cauldron
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!

Congratulations to Mos. Bros. Our New Artist of the Month!

Congratulations to the Mos. Bros. for winning our latest Artist of the Month poll! We're hoping that this was a clean match, and that no one took any advice on how to scam the system from a certain recently-run (and highly entertaining) piece.

We're not at all surprised that the Mos. Bros. won this contest. The North Carolina-born twin brothers, Will and Bobby, build their brand of indie rock on a foundation of solid songwriting with an alt-rock bent. The brothers took a step back after being flattened by the mainstream music wringer, and refocused their energy into playing songs more authentic to themselves. The pair just put out an EP this march, entitled "Three," and are preparing for a live, streaming performance of material off their upcoming full-length on May 5th (more details here.) Keep up with the siblings and their fierce crusade of independence at www.mosbrosmusic.com. 


Show Review: Koa at Exit/In on Friday, 4.10

Pardon the cliche, but it's fitting: Koa blew the roof off Exit In Friday night.

In case you thought pop music achieved total music monopoly, these Belmont music buffs have something to say. Trading off sax, nord, and guitar solos throughout upbeat barn-burners, hell even the sound booth was head-bobbing.

Jam band would be accurate, think O.A.R and Dave Matthews. But then forget I said that. Koa is no wannabe, and moreover dodges the genre’s biggest pitfall: bad songwriting. No amount of noodling creates strong lyric and arrangement. Koa puts a checkmark by it, then has you sing along.

These seven guys need to graduate, drop out, ask pops for money, whatever. It's one thing for skilled musicians to collaborate. It's another to make it work. And yet another to make it a live success. The first two are clear. The 300 in attendance Friday know the third is, too.

-Ben Neumann; Event hosted by Cause A Scene at the Exit In 4/10/15.


How The Chewers Lost to a Dog

Whether it is valued as a free way to drum up some attention for your band, or shrugged off as an unfortunate tap on the head in this perpetual game of local music Duck, Duck, Goose, The Deli’s Artist of the Month poll is a longstanding and steadfast tradition. It ain’t goin’ nowhere.

While we consider it high flattery when an act gets into the spirit and spreads the word, there is (as always) a limit to the enthusiasm. We recognize that this is a poll for nothing more than a picture on our header and a fleeting title, and realize the absurdity in trying to scam the system in order to win this, of all things. There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but we'll say it again: cheaters are losers, cheaters are losers, cheaters are losers.

We’re big fans of the weirdness that is The Chewers, and are dismayed to find out that they had to step over to the dark side to try to win our poll early in 2014. The place they are in is plenty dark already, thanks much. Not only did they still not win, it sounds like they burnt through a lot of fuel while failing. Luckily, member Michael Sadler submitted this short piece "How The Chewers Lost to a Dog" chronicling their efforts, and we love the band even more for it. Read a full account on how to NOT cheat in our little online contest HERE.

Then, go check out one of the Chewer’s upcoming local shows. They are playing Wednesday, April 15th at Mouthhole in East Nashville with Bandits! And Jerry Fels & the Jerry Fels, then again on April 24th with Ami Dang, GG Alien and No Milk (same venue.) They’re also planning to release their second album, “Dead Dads” on June 13, and have revamped their website to include some more nightmare-inducing content like this video for “The Lurk.” -Terra James-Jura



Wave & Rome Debut Single "Across the Map"

It took frontman Sam Tinnez three years of working, reworking and reimagining with a handful of collaborators (namely Josh Farro of Paramore repute, with mixing and mastering courtesy of Brad Bronlewee and Chad Howett.) During this time Tinnez also earned his stripes writing and producing with other Nashville acts including Young Summer, Farro, and Ruelle. The debut single of this long-simmering project, dubbed Wave & Rome. With nostalgia as an underlying theme to Wave & Rome's upcoming EP "Across the Map" (out this summer via Unsecret Music) the title track reflects on more innocent times, with driving drums and a beachy, warm weather-appropriate tone to the lead guitar. Check out the single and five remixes below, and keep up with W&R at www.waveandrome.com. -Terra James-Jura





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