Reviewed by Paul Broome
Rehab Sound Recordings
Coming out of the blue and hitting straight between the eyes is this, the debut album from Edinburgh’s Delta Mainline (released 20May 2013). And as an album it’s such a bold statement of intent that I had to double-check my sources to make sure that it was indeed a debut.
‘Misinformation’ kicks like a mule, with heavily distorted vocals and a wailing slide guitar – sounding like the bastard offspring of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Spiritualized, a particularly British variety of broken-down blues. It’s not the only track that evokes the spirit of Jason Pierce’s Rugby-borne outfit, it’s inevitable when a recording is this anthemic, and this swathed in reverb and reverie. ‘Stop This Feeling’ adds booming horns that wouldn’t be out of place in some of the Beta Band’s later work and a chorus that the Reid Brothers would be happy with and flows effortlessly into ‘Dead Beat Blues’ a track which clearly lays out the band’s sentimental manifesto.
I don’t know why Scottish bands do this heartfelt thing so well, but Delta Mainline are following a long line through The Jesus and Mary Chain to Glasvegas and The Twilight Sad. What is unusual for a sound this big is just how short the songs are in general, this means that none of them outstay their welcome – just as you’re riding the wave of one track, the next one is easing in. ‘The Church Is Up For Sale’ and ‘Dark Energy’ are the only tracks over five minutes in length, and both of them justify the extra time by building to absolutely mammoth crescendos. The latter especially ebbs and flows and re-invents itself several times over the course of six minutes and forty-one seconds – it’s almost bloody progressive in its stubborness to settle down.
Let me sum up by describing the album with five words: Huge; Dark; Emotive; Beautiful; Ambitious. As a debut album this is a great effort, yes it may wear its influences a bit too boldly on its sleeve – but honesty is a virtue after all.
If you like Spiritualized, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Six By Seven, and/or Glasvegas then you’re going to love this.
8 out of 10
- Tús Nua
- Stop This Feeling
- Dead Beat Blues
- Fixing To Die
- The Church Is Up For Sale
- The Strange Fate of Raoul Duke
- Florentine Regime
- Home To You
- 10. Dark Energy
- 11. Self-Inflicted Ills