Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit

written by: March 27, 2012
Delta Spirit-Delta Spirit-Album Cover Release Date: March 13, 2012

★★★½☆

Delta Spirit’s new self-titled album is a big step for the band both for their musical production as well as songwriting. As any Delta Spirit fan would expect, there are soulful songs with extremely catchy melodies that grab you upon your first listen, but then also grow with you each time you go through the album as a whole.

Their single for the album, “California,” is a fast, driving song with distorted and wailing guitars reminiscent of a shoegaze band than Delta Spirit. This isn’t to say that Delta Spirit changed their sound drastically, but that they took a focused approach to the instrumentals on this album and stole small bits of inspiration and used them subtly but powerfully to pump up the magic that Delta Spirit always had under their belt.

The first song on the album opens with a fast synth keyboard part that gives fire to the whole track. In a similar way, this small addition of keys are featured on other songs like “California” in which they are a small addition to the track but take Delta Spirit into a new sonic territory that still sounds exactly like a Delta Spirit song without compromising the style that fans of Ode to Sunshine will still find new, exciting and comforting at the same time.

“Tellin’ the Mind” is built off a vocal sample of someone rolling their tongue then yelling in a way that sounds like a stereotypical Native American call to arms that is soaked in reverb in a fashion similar to your average Animal Collective loop/sample, while still sounding alive and organic. You can’t tell if it’s a sample or if it’s someone yelling into the microphone. The vocal melody in the chorus of the song enters a totally different realm that sounds more like a dirty rock song by T. Rex than anything tribal or spacey.

Though the album has a lot of tracks that are fast and full of energy, the highlights might be the softer and slower ones on the album. “Home” is a simple song with lots of emotion poured into it. Vocalist Matt Vasquez sings a very heartfelt song with beautiful, yet very simple electric guitar parts bobbing in and out of the speakers, with a slight delay that is used tastefully to add to the song. The bottom line is: any special effects used in the production and mastering side of this album were done so in a way to make the album sound better, to add to what was already there and pump it full of life, contrary to many bands who are drenching their songs and guitars in reverb and delay to make up for their lack of focus and craftsmanship in the songwriting.

One of the most important things about this album is that it will most likely bring Delta Spirit to the average, mainstream music listener. The songs on this album could be pegged as pop-rock or radio-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they are empty and three to four chords in 4/4. This simply isn’t true.

Delta Spirit is made up of true musicians with dedication and real passion and has been from the start. Anybody who has watched a video of them from their early days or seen a show knows that they are grateful to have people at their shows and that they want to give their fans the best musical experience they can give them. They aren’t on the road to sell t-shirts and move units, but they certainly won’t fight that type of attention. Instead of thinking of Delta Spirit as selling out or going big and leaving their roots, we should look at this as maybe the Delta Spirit adding some integrity to the rock music that has plagued the airwaves for too long, taking the radio play back from bands like Nickelback and giving mainstream audiences something real to listen to for a change.

Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit Tracklist:

  1. “Empty House”
  2. “Tear It Up”
  3. “California”
  4. “Idaho”
  5. “Home”
  6. “Otherside”
  7. “Tellin’ the Mind”
  8. “Time  Bomb”
  9. “Into the Darkness”
  10. “Money Saves”
  11. “Yamaha”