Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
(1) Empty House
(2) Tear It Up
(7) Tellin' the Mind
(8) Time Bomb
(9) Into the Darkness
(10) Money Saves
Self-Titled Delta Spirit Self-Assured - by Alfred Howard: April 4, 2012
As music fans, we often adopt bands into our being, embody them, pull them into our personality; but, as with the friends we've known since youth, we do not always grow with them. Delta Spirit has grown.
Having fallen in love with the simplicity of Delta Spirit’s debut, Ode to Sunshine, this album was a challenge at first. It is a different band, at a different point in their careers. (They've moved from Southern California to Brooklyn, shedding and then gaining a member along the way.) But, upon further listens, I recognized my friend from years past is still present within this new framework.
On their self-titled third full-length, Delta Spirit have discovered their sound. The songs still have raucous outbursts of energy as well as slow thoughtful beauty and rich imaginative lyrics. It is still distinctly Delta Spirit, but the sound has been modernized and not in a derivative fashion.
Album opener “Empty House” segues from their former sound to their current. “Tear It Up” has interlocking guitar parts that call to mind Vampire Weekend. “California” is a radio-ready track with anthemic catchiness.
The song “Home” offers glimpses of rootsy beginnings, as Matthew Vasquez sings, “There’s a song beneath the earth/ there are eyes within the dirt/ under the nails of a working man.” These vocals land over a sparse and haunting arrangement.
Truly great bands evolve, take their experiences and translate them into divergent sounds, and at their best they sound genuine and comfortable within their new skin. On Delta Spirit, our old friends do exactly that.