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Artist of the Month
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March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
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Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London 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!


Summer Cannibals Release 'Show Us Your Mind'

Take a swift punch to the gut and throw up and you’ve got the start of a good recipe for a show. All you need now is the hard-hitting beats and punk energy of Summer Cannibals’ new album Show Us Your Mind and you’re cooking.

The album is full of energy front to back. The grungy and fuzzed out guitar keeps up much of that energy, but singer Jessica Boudreaux manages to temper some of the knife’s-edge riffs with sweet, even hooky melodies. Occasionally you’ll hear harmonies as Jessica belts it out about a relationship that is going down the tubes. But any sign that the band might slow down and trade in their beat up instruments for pop outfits is given up on a dark track like “Afraid To Feel”, which churns along like blood pumping through the neck.

All the pieces come together on Summer Cannibals second album. Jessica Boudreaux shows herself to be a powerhouse vocalist, much in the same vein as Patti Smith. (Patti wrote a song called “Summer Cannibals”. Coincidence?) And the rest of the band provides a perfect complement to her soaring melodies. You’d be inclined to feel sentimental for the bands of the ‘90s if you had time while the album drives along.

If you’re feeling the hungry sort of restlessness of a long day at work—maybe a customer spilled mustard on your shirt or a dog got off its leash and ran amok in the kitchen—“Show Us Your Mind” is the perfect digestif to sooth your day. Simply turn up the speakers, sit back and let all the mundane frustrations float away on some good, straightforward and head-banging rock n’ roll.

Written by Eric Togethoff
Photo by Jason Quigley

 

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Appendixes 'Every Day Use'

The music of Portland trio Appendixes is like that place between sleep and waking, where consciousness breaks away from subconscious,  emerging from colorful dreams that seemed to make sense at the time.  Light begins to filter through, stirring past a weighted heartbeat of bass, and then bursting full of synths and acoustic strums. Beth Morgans vocals are hazy, and slowly the lyrics become clear: “I had a dream we were walking on the moon” .

“Moonwalking” is the first sweet song on the band’s new five track EP Everyday Use (Jan 24th on Track and Field), and is an extension of previous works Neon Green Fear and False Color, possibly pointing to a full length endeavor. Its Dream-gaze, with eerie, condensed echoing, but also fun pop tendencies. Morgan’s alto slowly navigates the interplay between rhythms and acoustic melody. “The Plan” is a dusty and fast paced jaunt, while “Treehouse” is a sparkling dramatic into for  “Burn”, which showcases catchy beats complemented by synths and electric guitar solos, but grounds near the end with a negative rhythm of feedback.

Through some cutester strums, synth and breathy vocals, there is an ominous mood surrounding their sound, such as the darker, final track “Stolen.” And yet, listening closely you find lyrics about being “a shooting star, a glimmering ball of light” among the struggles.

Here’s to lucid dreaming.

- Brandy Crowe

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Dogheart's 'What Burns the Best' Out Today

With the high siren cries of Matt Jenkins' guitar, Dogheart’s new album What Burns The Best (released today), splashes onto the scene before settling with the ripples into a catchy, surf rock-ish groove. The simple guitar licks and soothing bass lines are bound to be on your lips for the rest of the day, and Jenkins' Interpol-esque vocals transmit with it the smell of sandy beaches that can’t be far around the corner by the time this short album is over. (The album is only 10 tracks and around 30 minutes long.)

A certain sonic nostalgia washed over me listening to this album. Though the album at times soars on poppy riffs, it manages to fray enough at the ends to feel spontaneous and heartfelt. The jangly anthems can almost be felt way down in the marrow, slowly churning up and out. The beat is persistent enough to ask why you aren’t moving yet. By the end of the album you can hear the boys of Dogheart playing passionately enough to send their instruments slightly out of tune. If nothing else, What Burns The Best promises the potential for a great show full of relentless rock tunes you can move to. 

While the album itself may not provide any new ideas of garage rock or surf rock, it certainly feels familiar enough to enjoy on a relaxing day. They owe a lot to influences like Guided By Voices, though props must be given to Jenkins for his flowing—but not overly busy—guitar riffs, which strike a good balance with the simple vocal melodies that are bound to get listeners singing along. And you’ll get a chance to do that at the band's offician launch show for What Burns he Best on March 14 at Bunk Bar.

-Eric Tegethoff

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Divers Release 'Hello Hello'

Divers stand out. It’s irrelevant to define their sound by one or two genres. Harrison Rapp, Seth Rapp, James Deegan and Colby Hulsey have already claimed a description: “sweaty dynamic”. The four-piece release their debut LP, Hello Hello, via Party Damage and Rumbletowne Records on February 17th. 

The quartet take calculated rises and falls through their sound, effectively bringing you up through energetic songs and mellowing you out with songs like “Great Escape”. The balance is something to remember. This Sunday, 2.15, Divers will perform at the High Water Mark Lounge for their hometown release show, which will also serve as a benefit fundraiser for harm reduction in Portland. Pageripper (also releasing an album), Marriage and Cancer, and Thin Coat are supporting. 8pm, $5.

Stream the album in it's entirety now in advance.

- Colette Pomerleau

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