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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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Charts are messed up again!

Deli Readers,

Apologies for our charts' recent problems, there are works in progress to make the system more reliable, changes coming soon!

The Deli's Staff


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 Love Dimension The Spiral Electric and Trendy Dad Play Bottom of the Hill - 4/2

San Francisco based psych revivalist band, The Love Dimension will be headlining a night at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on April 2nd. The Love Dimension always puts on a wonderful live show. Their music shoots out vibes of peace, love and rock and roll! Neo shoegaze band, The Spiral Electric will also be performing on the BOT stage. This Brian Jonestown Massacre, paisley underground influenced ensemble creates really nice and dreamy rock soundscapes. San Francisco based rock band, Trendy Dad will be opening the night with their own brand of 60s revivalist pop rock and roll.

There's absolutely no way you won't be moving and shaking on the dance floor throughout this entire show! Don't miss a great night of music at Bottom of the Hill!

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Travis Hayes Releases New EP - Plays Doc's Lab - 3/28

Singer/songwriter, Travis Hayes is celebrating the release of his new three track album entitled, Love Songs. The album features the vocals of Emily Whitehurst (mainly known for her work in Tsunami Bomb and The Action Design) and paints a vivid picture of Hayes' personal experiences with love. Hayes is a refreshingly traditional folk artist who doesn't need to add too many frills to his music. He can capture an emotion or idea with his guitar and voice, but certainly takes the time to add simple elements that extenuate his overall artistic atmosphere. Love Songs features the cello and of course, Emily's lovely voice, making the collection of songs very beautiful and very to point.

Hayes makes some classy music. You can check him out live tomorrow night at Doc's Lab in San Francisco with Lauren O'Connell.

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The Tunnel Buzzmutt and The Ukiah Drag Play Hemlock Tavern - 4/1

The San Francisco based, goth-surf punk band, The Tunnel will be performing live at Hemlock Tavern on April 1st. They'll be sharing the bill with the SF based alternative experimental noise band, Buzzmutt and Providence, Rhode Island based noise rock band The Ukiah Drag. This is going to be an awesomely weird show that you shouldn't miss. Noisy, thrashy, off kilter, alternative underground experimental rock and roll will dominate your ears at this show on April Fool's Day. What more can you ask for?

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