Album Review: Delta Spirit – History from Below

By on Thursday, 6th May 2010 at 12:00 pm

So I’ve always heard of the American five-piece band, Delta Spirit. Giving them a once over was about as much I did to discover them. Until now, that is. Having the pleasure of listening to their sophomore album, “History From Below”, I am now a fan of this gifted bunch.

Set to be released next month, “History From Below” shows the band digging deep with emotion, experimentation and a raw energy that transforms nearly all the songs into gold. Take semi- reactionary opener, “9/11”, where we hear the raspy vocals by lead singer Matt Vasquez declare, “They came from far and wide, with 9/11 as their battle cry.”

The jingle-jangle narrative then moves into the territory of lost love with a rocky, upbeat “Bushwick Blues”. Highly likeable, the three and a half minute track brings sounds of rockabilly backed up with hints of the alt-country genre.

One of the more obvious themes reflected on the overall album is the sense of spiritualism. That’s not the bland and trite “praise music” blasted on gospel radio today, by the way. Rather, it’s the telling chapters of life; whether you’re living in it, passing through or making a grand exit. Such subject matters are heard in more obvious styles, like in tracks, “Salt In The Wound”, “Vivian” and the eight minute closer, “Ballad of Vitaly.”

Yet, with all its glorious moral fibers, Northern and American soul, dark harmonies and uplifting beats, one song really got under my skin, in the irritating way. It goes by the name of “Devil Knows Your Dead” but it might as well be dubbed “An Irish Prayer”, because that’s exactly what is. Regardless of the gentle melody and sincerity that Vasquez provides as he recites “May the wind always be at yours back, and the sun shine warm upon your face,” the song on a whole seems comes as a blaring filler halfway through the album. Furthermore, it lacks the authenticity that highlights many of the other songs on the album.

Still, if this is the only objectionable track of the band’s eleven songs on the LP, then I’d say they have just gained another avid fan. Delta Sprit harvested a significant following with their debut album, “Ode to Sunshine” in 2007. Expect more of the same history making success when their sophomore effort arrives this summer.

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