Delta Mainline release their stunning album debut on the 20th May 2013 and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best of the year. Expect it to rattle and shake as much as it lulls and soothes, bringing an eclectic mix of music from the 7 Scots that make up the band.
There’s a lot of variation on Oh! Enlightened with a breadth and depth quality that Alex Ferguson would be proud of thanks to such a large band filled with a good range of instruments. There’s out and out rock as well as elements of softer psych, folk and garage band output, but it’s the addition of keys and a minor horn (ace) section that gives the album the extra lift to take it from being good to a potential classic.
Misinformation is a crashing storm of an opening track, picking up after the Doves-esque introduction of Tus Nua. It combines elements of The Who and The Kinks with Black Keys and Wooden Shjips to leave a thump in your skull and a helter skelter in your spine.
Listen to Misinformation:
There’s a Spritualized flow to Stop This Feeling, but with amazing trumpet blasts. Dead Beat Blues is, as the name suggests, blues folk and rock class. Lyrics like, “I’m just a boy, thinks he’s a man” are pretty easy to empathise with.
Fixing to Die is the bitter love child of Shane MacGowan and Glasvegas, while The Church Is Up For Sale is a building tale of the church in modern life with great fuzzed up background guitar reverberations and a final trumpet call.
If you get half way through the short acoustic disquiet of track seven, ingeniously titled The Strange Fate of Raoul Duke referencing Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, and start to think that the faster action has been top loaded, the good news is that Delta Mainline have got a surprise up their sleeve in the catchier than thou and equally brilliantly titled, Florentine Regime. It’s all out Velvet Underground motorik rhythm, fuzz and distortion with the addition of Cuban trumpet calls.
Home To You is a Spanish guitar ballad with more trumpet and piano melodies, that work well together. Dark Energies has a slow, discordant beginning, with a psych instrumental opening section that flows into very cool cool vocals talking of having “dark energies” before a wild freak-out ending closes the track out. Final song, Self Inflicted Ills is the only blemish on the album, feeling self indulgent and uninspired, although, as ever, we’re suckers for haunting slide guitar, so it has it’s good points.
If all the varied comparisons that our review of Oh! Enlightened aren’t enough you can throw in The Jesus and Mary Chain, Belle and Sebastian, Miles Kane, Beady Eye, The Horrors and Beirut into the mix. However, there’s nothing copycat about the album; it’s a unique blend of music, creating a class debut record for Delta Mainline.
Delta Mainline, Oh! Enlightened review: 4.4/5