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Artist of the Month
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June 2016
Pinkwash
"Collective Sigh
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Solemn resonance slides the door open to “No Real Witness,” the opening track from Pinkwash’s debut album, Collective Sigh. The much-anticipated LP from the prog-punk combination of Joey Doubek and Ashley Arnwine is available via Don Giovanni Records, and takes little time to develop its emotively-charged release, as the unrelenting battering of percussion unites with those eerie key/synth tones, uncorking the aggression. And with a surge, “Metastatic” jumps out with a sense of controlled high-speed rhythm. The guitar riff and percussion weave in a tightly bound flow, giving way in moments to Doubek’s soaring, lingering vocal outcry. The deep stemming personal feel and weight of his lyrics are thrust forward as the instruments smash ahead.
 
The instantaneous groove of “Gumdrop” surrounds you in a steady power-exuding bounce. The kinetic energy is infectious as that locked-in guitar pattern and pummeling snap of percussion mesmerizes, and Doubek delivers a set of serious-toned yet matter-of-factly-delivered lines: “Feeling of going down, shot to the ground, you’ll have to put me down”. Keys slice through that hypnotic attack like a bright, omen-echoing light.
 
The album takes a moment to breathe as “inhale, exhale” is methodically repeated in “Sigh,” while anticipating the foreboding guitar that emerges gradually from the background, with an upper-cutting sledgehammer of sludgy instrumentation. “Walk Forward With My Eyes Closed” - much like the rest of album - appears to hit on the pain and grief of deep and profound loss. That musical push toward coping is surrounded by the encompassing walls of heavy sonics that gather momentum as Doubek musters up strength. “I’ll walk forward with my eyes closed.”
 

With a thunder-smashing yet deeply personal side, Collective Sigh etches its message at the core, transforming the power of grief into a heavy–hitting memorable display of emotion. - Michael Colavita


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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!


The Daybreaks' "Cruel Summer" cover is an icy cold summertime treat

Summer isn't all sunshine and icy drinks with fruit in them. No matter what The Beach Boys tried to tell you, it's a season for loss as much as any other. A song like "Cruel Summer" works at taking a different approach to an overplayed trope, and the cover from The Daybreaks' camp pulls double duty. Fully indulging in the bleak sorrow suggested in the composition of the 1980s original, it's clearly a well thought out effort that doesn't take the gimmicky style-swap change of some covers or the miserably by-the-numbers approach of many others, but instead explores the intent of the original in a meaningful way and adds to what was already present. This version, held aloft by a restrained instrumentation and hauntingly cool harmonies, is like a nice bit of shade from the heat. If you want to get into the summer spirit but aren't sold on the idea of the season as a three month party, check out the video below. -Austin Phy

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Cordovas debut is a classic and a sign of things to come

I, for one, am thrilled that we're all coming around to recognize that "dad rock" doesn't have to be a snarky ol' put-down. Some folks were way ahead of the curve on that, though. Take for example Cordovas, whose 2012 debut is proudly dad rock as hell and sticks the landing. Between the Eagles-like harmonies and some heavy touches of The Band, the sound is a little like the greatest supergroup that never existed—classic, but a totally unique take on a sound. This album's a little on the old side but just now coming to my attention as the guys are gearing up for some extensive touring and new recordings due out before all too long. They'll be on the road for a little while after some recent appearances around town, but you can catch them in September at Americana Fest alongside some fresh-faced up-and-comers with names like John Prine and Steve Earle. -Austin Phy

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Rich Ruth explores with refreshing curiosity on "Thruster"

Generally uneasy and slyly experimental, when Rich Ruth's Thruster settles down for a moment, it likes to ease into a minimal funky groove like if Parliament had temporarily replaced George Clinton with a Gameboy. But that's only one sound of many to be found here—there's off-kilter folk, off-kilter new wave, off-kilter world influences, and other assorted sounds that generally leave the kilter at home, whatever that is in the first place. It's an enjoyable listen all the way through, sparse but never short on new ideas, and you can give it a listen below. -Austin Phy

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Harpooner previews "Rose Park" with a pair of far-out singles

Rose Park by Harpooner is probably a solid approximation of what it's like to do psychedelics on the beach. Upbeat but unabashedly weird, the singles available from Rose Park sound like Harpooner is going to be working with their own hopped-up version of that mid-2000s Strokes sound that seems to be making a comeback. The album will be available in full digitally or on a, one has to assume, beautiful transparent red vinyl on June 24. -Austin Phy

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