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January 2015
The Goodbye Party
"Silver Blues
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The Goodbye Party, a.k.a. Michael Cantor (formerly of The Ambulars), has released a new record Silver Blues via Salinas Records. The album finds Cantor largely in control using a vast arsenal of instruments, while also enlisting Joey Doubek (of Pinkwash) for percussive duties on a series of tracks.
 
“Heavenly Blues” nudges the entrance open to the cathedral of sound. Cantor’s smooth trustworthy vocals deliver a suggestive message amid a chamber of sonic layers, “…you have halos, you have lights, you have ghosts that sing into the night.” There is a well-produced divide, between that enlightening tone fortified by a residual hum, the soft drops and tapping tambourine, and bowed guitar that provides a more ominous dimension.
 
“Crossed Out” shoves that door further open with its optimistic jangly guitar/rolling percussion and bass, illuminating the scenery - “holes in the windows, where the wind slips through…” There’s a balancing point between the coldness of the lyrics and the resounding warmth of Cantor’s delivery and instrumental accompaniment. Taking foreboding tones of thumping percussion and the stirring rings of guitar, “I’m Not Going to Your Heaven” silver-lines them as the ringing morphs into a pleasant cry while the song winds down with a scratchy conclusion.
 
In a flash of joy, “Personal Heavens” is jumpstarted with a groove yet despite this, the lyrics reveal a grey point of view - “Homesick for personal heavens and homes you’ll never see again.” Slipping you back into the cathedral in “27 Times,” the finessed layering of backing vocals wrapping around Cantor’s lead shields it from the cold.
           
“New Decay” has a jaded push behind it, as guitars twist into knots and drums smash a path for Cantor to admit, “I keep breaking what I’ve already fixed/I keep fixing what I’ve already fixed.” Silver Blues closes with the bone chilling solemn string-oriented “White on White” - “the world/burns in the dark/echoed songs, resonations, every night.”
 
The record sweeps through ones mind in what seems like a moment. However, its melding of darkness and light leaves poignant, beautiful moments that makes Silver Blues worth revisiting frequently. - Michael Colavita

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Album Review: We’re Here to Help - Notekillers

Album Review: We’re Here to Help - Notekillers

Listening to an instrumental outfit can sometimes seem off-putting. There’s a certain tedium that most fall to - a recurring loop of indistinguishable murmurs, buzzes, and kicks that drone on into oblivion. Really, it can get pretty damn boring if you’re absolutely restless and need some type of vocal interaction - or if you’re just not into musical circle jerks. Fortunately, though, instrumental avant-rock trio the Notekillers fails at the ennui and mundane on their first full-length, We’re Here to Help.
 
We’re Here to Help was over 30 years in the making. The dual-habituating Notekillers (they’re from Philadelphia and Brooklyn) thrashed it out with the superlative no-wave instigators in late ‘70s New York City, only officially dropping the self-released 7-inch, The Zipper. The record unknowingly culled major players as fans for the trio. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore cited the Notekillers as a “big influence” for him and others in his evolving music scene in an interview with Mojo Magazine (the trio eventually made an archival release on Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label).
 
We're Here to Help, released on Prophase Music, is both an extension of and break away from The Zipper. Its erratic behavior is more developed, but still has that experimental free-spirit which helped to shape a generation and music genre. There's chaos and there's refinement, zeal and calm. We're Here to Help is a multi-layered and complex album made up of star-burst moments that fly every which way in bright spurts, but there's still a very distinct pattern. While fierce, wild arrangements are always present throughout this nearly 40-minute effort, not every song is a sonic freak-out like the album's definitive track, "Flamenco" - a raucous number where the guitars shred furiously to the point of a high-pitched fever and havoc is unleashed on the skins. "Eyelash" curls to the surf rock mystique that the Notekillers might be best known for, with rumbling guitars and rolling drums powering into a catchy, rhythmic melody, and if this track strikes your fancy, then face-melter "Papers" may have the angular riffs and walls of distortion that are here to help make your day. We're Here to Help proves that the stigma of instrumental rock is something to be defied. - Annamarya Scaccia

Eyelash by Notekillers 

Flamenco by Notekillers 

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