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Drowned in Sound: Ex Hex - Rips


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THE DELI'S 7 OFFICIAL CMJ 2014 STAGES

DELI OFFICIAL CMJ SHOWS ANNOUNCED, FULL SCHEDULE HERE 


Album Review: Jackson Boone's Starlit

Sometimes we are offered glimpses into what Portland, Oregon used to be. These fleeting moments are often brought back through people born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Jackson Boone fits all of the above and is ready to share his perception via his newest album, Starlit

Boone's debut full-length is very much like a wave: a rise and fall of climatic melodies with just the right amount of steadiness. Produced by Riley Geare of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and help from fellow local musicians in the recording process, the amount of passion and camaraderie stands out as one to remember. "Heavy Lovers" elicits the appropriate atmosphere for its title. It's slow, slightly brooding and the subtle wail of the guitar makes it undeniably sexy. Boone's vocals sound taunting and venturesome, never desperate. This trait carries throughout the album. Moments in between the calm, Boone shifts to jarring noises before gracefully transitioning back in "Haystack Rock N' Roll". It concludes with the chunky, but incredibly catchy "Luv Bug".
 
Trust our decision making and head out this Saturday night. Boone starts a series of live performances this month with Alberta St. Pub's charming and quaint performance space. Psych-phenomenons Tender Age and Cambrian Explosion will be supporting.
 
- Colette Pomerleau
 


Album Review: Mermaid in China

Often times you can recognize a band’s early recordings within the first few second of listening. A lack of tonal clarity, straining to hear some of the instruments and hearing a member swear after striking a mistaken note all stick out as obvious signs that you’re listening to a bandcamp debut of a local project. Mermaid in China have, thankfully, ignored this option and instead worked to release a professional-quality debut that transmits their dance-infused indie pop compositions through synthesized tones, hypnotic rhythms and dynamic vocal arrangements.

The Vast Divide” opens the self-titled release with an ambient space that is quickly filled with by swirling electronic melodies, a grooving bass line and contagious rhythms that need to be danced to. The second track, “Gentle,” combines acoustic and electronic instrumentation with a crisp vocal stylings like something out of a Broken Bells record. Each track from here on out has something unique to offer: be it the driving rhythm section grounding ambient flights in “The Average Man,” the anthemic chorus that dances through the catchy “Tame the Wild,” or the arrangement of that  “A Stroll Through Calloway Bay” which sounds like it could be a B-side from Beach Boys' Pet Sounds .

The release as a whole doesn’t sound so much like a cohesive album as it does a sample platter of singles that showcase the range of sounds that Mermaid in China are capable of producing. If you’d like a taste of these sounds for yourself, head over to Slabtown on Thursday, October 2nd to catch them perform alongside Clawfoot Slumber, Mega Tera and Liquid Light.

- Ben Toledo


Bike Thief: Album Review and Video Premier

Last month, Portland neo-folk band, Bike Thief, self-released their debut full-length album, Stuck in a Dream. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the perfect time!

I’m not the first to say they sound like Arcade Fire. In fact, they mention AF in their influences and biography. But it’s accurate, and not a slight. Arcade Fire is a giant monster-machine of a band because they did something so well that EVERYONE caught on.

Fittingly, Bike Thief's first single “The Burning Past,” has an anthemic build, taking a typical indie folk/rock approach, then layering it with yell-sing group vocals, a range of percussive instruments, and heavily featured strings. I’m always a sucker for a rad string section, which according to the visually-stunning music video was performed by solemn paper mice. 

The entire album offers a dynamic range of sounds and instruments, cleverly arranged by the band, guided by frontman and founder Febian Perez. Most of the members of Bike Thief are multi-instrumentalists, but they also have a whole slew of notable guest artists--they even feature the vocals of Portland Boychoir and Luz Mendoza of Y La Bamba dn Tiburones (on “We Once Knew Ya"). 

Stuck in a Dream is definitely worth listening to if you’ve ever been into bands like the Decemberists, or the aforementioned Arcade Fire.  Stream the album in its entirety here. If you're from outside Portland, catch Bike Thief in a city near you as they'll embark on a national tour for the month of October, and part of November. 

Without further ado, enjoy the world premier of Bike Thief's brand new video for theer second single off Stuck in a Dream, "Ghosts of Providence."

- Chandler Strutz

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Under The Scope: Lubec

There are a few things you need to know about the arcane, shoegaze-deconstructivist rockers Lubec.

By now I’m sure you’re all well aware of the shoegaze renaissance that our happy country has been experiencing for the past five years. Despite what some music snobs will tell you--things like, “There’s nothing new to expand on in the genre beyond the MBV “atmosphere”--I’m happy to report that even in today’s day of imitating imitators, there are still plenty of avenues for the genre to explore (and h8ers can suck it).

Giving truth to my bold statements above are local genre-breaching, boundary-spurning, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, dreamy art-rockers Lubec. They combine the the layered texture of MBV, the erratic unpredictability of Swirlies, the philosophy of youth advocate/empowerment bands like Sonic Youth, with an irreverence to orthodox compositional guidelines. The result? A slice of non-clichéd (unlike this statement) sonic heaven.

But don’t take it from me--the guys are releasing their debut album The Thrall on September 21 at Mississippi Studios with Night Mechanic and Old Wave (formerly the Adam Brock 4), and they were nice enough to sit down with me (albeit lacking one member) and chat about it amongst other things...

Read the full article and interview here!

Words by Bryce Woodcock, photo by Keli Pennington.

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