Hailing from Olney, Maryland, Deleted Scenes’ second album, Birdseed Shirt, debuted just after the turn of the new year and seemed to be the talk of the town before it. The latest “it” thing crowned by DC’s new media, Dan Scheuerman, Matt Dowling, Chris Scheffey and Brian Hospital lead off the album with distorted guitar and solid drums, developing the promising opener “Turn To Sand” into dirty buzzing alternative rock not dissimilar to Spoon’s foot stomping Gimme Fiction. “Fake IDs” and “Take My Life” also drip wet with grungy reverb and catchy vocals that manage to flow one after the other while remaining unique amongst each other.
Unfortunately, the tracks that follow slowly digress into (for lack of a better descriptor) blah, but not in an irreparable way. But in comparison to where the album began, Birdseed Shirt seems to lose momentum. It is here that Deleted Scenes seem to make an uncomfortable transition, where they venture to play music of two different influences. They do so successfully in that they are undoubtedly well equipped to entertain either way. It is uncomfortable since I prefer the dense, heavier sounds that seem to lose their luster towards the end and seem to rob the album of its early energy.
What wanders out of their alt-rock is folkish-indie. This is most apparent on closing track “Get Your Shit Together For The Holidays.” While I enjoyed its movement, I tried hard not to think of the melodic baggage of Band of Horses, to whom I found them to be undeniably similar. I found the sedated, ghostly progression and Ben Bridwell-like vocals to revert Deleted Scenes to a full-fledged indie-rock band: nothing more, nothing less. And I am still unable to recognize a noteworthy element of psychedelia which has been noted by others.
The album is promisingly set into motion with energy and a distinct, noisy introduction of tracks that ring upbeat and intricate; my expectations were high. I was ill-prepared for the downtempo portions of the album that followed. I’d like to hear more of their idiosyncratic experiments with vibrating guitars and thick percussion and less of the other sounds they seem drawn to.
Label: What Delicate Recordings
Release Date: Jan 6, 2009
- Turn to Sand
- Fake IDs
- Take My Life
- Mortal Sin
- Got God
- City That Never Wakes Up
- One Long Country Song
- Another, Worse Cliche
- Get Your Shit Together for the Holidays
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