x
Artist of the Month
the_deli_magazine

 
deli cover

 

 

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.


Go to the old Top 300 charts

Cancel

scene blog

portland-me

New Holiday Single from The Hush Now

It's no secret that The Hush Now love the holidays. The Boston-based rock outfit treats its fans to a song for pretty much every major holiday. This season is no exception. Deciding that New Year's was a lonely holiday when it came to songs, they sat down and penned their latest gift to us all: Happy New Year, Dear.

Take a listen to the track below and head over to their Bandcamp to download it for free.

--Chrissy Prisco


28 Degrees Taurus Start 5-night East Coast Tour Tonight with Gospel Gossip (MN)

Tonight kicks off a 5-night east coast tour from local psych/shoegaze band 28 Degrees Taurus. Having recently come back from two midwestern tours (the last of which was with their Midwestern "sister band" Gospel Gossip) this marks the first area performance from 28DT in several months.

Minneapolis' Gospel Gossip will be accompanying the band on this tour. Some folks might remember Gospel Gossip from their last New England appearance in August at Deep Heaven Now. Combining energy, intensity and raw, emotionally-charged vocals from Sarah Nienaber, this band's shoegaze will leave you completely spellbound.

Do yourself a favor and make it to at least one, if not all, of these shows.

Wed, Nov. 30 -- w/ MAAR, Secret LoverRalph's Diner, Worcester MA
Thurs, Dec. 1 -- w/ Guillermo Sexo, Ghost Box Orchestra @ Great Scott, Allston MA
Fri, Dec. 2 -- w/ The New Highway Hymnal, Friendship @ The Ant Cellar, Lowell MA
Sat, Dec. 3 -- w/ Autochrome, ClouderThe Charleston, Brooklyn NY
Sun, Dec. 4 -- w/ The Josh Drews, Washerwoman @ The Velvet Lounge, Washington D.C.

--Chrissy Prisco


The Prefab Messiahs -- Peace Love & Alienation

When I first listened to Peace Love & Alienation, without knowing a thing about The Prefab Messiahs, I thought I had downloaded the wrong album by mistake. This was real garage-pop from the 80’s. After a brief peruse of the internet, I came to the conclusion that these guys are the longest-lived band to last only two years (1981-1983). Three ambitious Clark U. undergrads with barebones rigs, no money, and a lot to say combined punk, surf-rock, and garage-pop to create an unaccredited style of lo-fi pop-rock that is still relevant 30 years later,

Peace Love & Alienation brings together 8 newly remastered tracks, including both tracks produced by Bobb Trimble, that show the versatility Prefab Messiahs had in their heyday. With a strong influence from post-punk innovators “Swell Maps,” Prefab Messiahs coin a sound of their own. It’s as if the Ramones teamed up with Joy Division, took some LSD, listened to The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and then decided to write an album. The Album starts off with two of my favorite songs Beyond All That and Cousin Artie. In each of these songs we hear everything from surf-rock guitar licks, analog synth, punk chord progressions, and psychedelic refrains and bridges.

Then comes Prefab Messiahs’ most “famous” song, Desperately Happy. Catchy and fun reverb-soaked vocals over a simple but grooving, slightly out of tune, guitar line make this song an instant classic for any and every Prefab fan. Their creativity is certainly showcased in the next 50-second track, Prefab Dub. What was an eclectic instrumental grooving heady dub song doing in the middle of a post-punk compilation album? I’m not sure, but I listened to this short track three times in a row as any doubts that I had about this band being way ahead of their time vanished.

I suggest all music fans buy or at least check out this album. Especially for all those lo-fi, modern garage-punkers out there (fans of Wavves, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, etc.) who might find some satisfaction in listening to the roots, this is a must-have album.

--Michael Giordano


Annalise Emerick -- Starry-Eyed

On her album Starry-Eyed, singer-songwriter Annalise Emerick blends folk music with pop sensibilities as she crafts melodies as pretty as her name. The album follows the story of a young woman who learns to stand her own ground and rely on herself, but without sounding jaded. Emerick opens the album with You Win, a breakup song to her dear Nashville-- the city that became the takeoff point for her career as a singer-songwriter. In the beginning, she admits she was “starry-eyed and full of hope,” but when she gets her heart broken, she knows better than to let others get the best of her.

With its innocent and thoughtful lyricism, Starry-Eyed focuses some of its attention on looking back, like in I Came Around, which analyzes the should-haves of life and love and shows off Emerick’s tough side. But more importantly, the core of the album is about moving forward. Emerick has the soul of a traveller, and she’s not afraid to pick her life up and go when she needs to; She’s a Texan who has settled down in Nashville and Seattle before planting her roots in Boston, at least for the moment.


Annalise Emerick -- A Runner and a Singer

--Sarah Ruggiero


Crashing Cars -- Coming Alive to Fall Asleep

From the first chord to the last swells of feedback, Crashing Cars latest release, Coming Alive to Fall Asleep, is an invigorating ride on a rock rollercoaster. Their sound spans everything from Nirvana and Modest Mouse, to Foo Fighters, At the Drive-In and even subtle hints of Death Cab and Elliott Smith. It also became quite apparent to me that lead vocalist Jon Kohen must be an avid Kurt Cobain fan. At the end of Something to Burn, I’d swear Kohen was channeling Kurt from beyond the grave with an “All Apologies”-esque scream.  I thoroughly enjoyed songs like Empty Seas and My Mind--a track that any fan of Elliott Smith (or just music in general) would be sure to love. The somber cello line really thickens the mix and provides a perfect accompaniment to Kohen’s vocals.

My favorite song would have to be the title track. I loved the slow Modest-Mouse type build-up into an At the Drive-In surge of emotion and power. I found their use of dynamics on this track (and throughout the entire album), to be quite excellent.

Overall, Coming Alive to Fall Asleep is a great album. It was nice to finally hear a band making honest garage rock instead of Micro-Korg driven dance beats. From what I could find online, they have no upcoming dates, but head over to their bandcamp page and give them a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

--Daniel McMahon


|
|

aom
Which of these local acts should be The Deli Philly's featured artist(s)?

[sponsored by]


aps
stompbox exhibit


- news for musician and music pros -