By Dusty Aunan – Music Director
Delta Spirit chose the eponymous title for their third full-length album, an album that builds on the fierce Americana rock of 2010’s History From Below. Like History, Delta Spirit is full of raw rock jams while still leaving room for touching ballads. This time around singer Matt Vasquez throws in more vocal dynamics, the guitars are full of echo, and some synthesizer can be heard.
Mention of synthesizer could send fans of Delta Spirit’s Americana style running for the hills, but spoiler alert: they pull it off without compromising anything.
The guitars on lead single “California” sound like they were recorded in a wind tunnel (and I mean that in a good way). The sounds echo and linger wonderfully. Vazquez’s voice verges on crooning, as if he has reigned in some of his usual rasp. With some added synth beats, the song creates a texture that is both modern and soulful.
Drummer Brandon Young’s floor-tom-heavy style is spotlighted on the ballad “Time Bomb”. An ambient guitar melody drifts over the beat, while Vasquez sings, “I don’t know what comes now/I can’t hear it but I know the sound.”
On “Money Saves” the gang adds rapid-fire synth beats to the rock sensibility that made History’s “Bushwick Blues” so great. Vasquez’s earnest lyrics are especially blunt on this track: “All the plans I made got shattered/all of my old friends are getting fatter.”
Other album highlights are “Tellin’ The Mind” (a vocal roller coaster), “Idaho” (because, duh!), “Empty House” and album closer “Yamaha”.
You can buy the album here.