There are a lot of country-rock bands out there, including in indie – some of them good, some of them bad, but most of them just run-of-the-mill. Being somewhere between rock, alternative, country, and jam just spreads too thin by trying to appeal to too many (though a number of them are relatively commercially successful). However, that only means that there’s room to grow, and Delta Spirit do that in a big way as they push upward on their self-titled fourth full-length.
Delta Spirit does that right from the get-go on the somewhat frontloaded album (but only because the beginning is so good). “Empty House” mixes their twang with pressure, and pressure is the major feature on the record. However, Delta Spirit also know how to level things, as neither pressure, twang, nor anything else becomes too dominant to mar finely-balanced pieces such as “House” and the following “Tear It Up” and “California”. “Tear It Up” brings in an antsy feeling, and even a touch of dance, while “California” puts the pressure to the evocation, for two more excellent and memorable songs.
From there, Delta Spirit still delivers. There’s the quiet and haunting workingman story of “Home”, which has the feeling of Bruce Springsteen (QRO live review). The back half of Delta Spirit is a brighter one, including the uplifting “Otherside”, slow echo anthem “Time Bomb”, and even the choral keys coda to close things out, “Yamaha”. And even when they somewhat repeat themselves to less effect – “Idaho” feels like a not-quite-as-excellent “Empty House”, and the garage-push of “Tellin’ the Mind” is the one run-of-the-mill piece on the record – they’re still strong.
With song titles like “California” and “Idaho”, not to mention “Empty House” and “Home”, Delta Spirit’s latest could have been just another alt-country/rock release from just another alt-country/rock band. But instead the group has pressed forward and upward into something accomplished.
MP3 Stream: “Tear It Up“