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Review of Overzealous' "The Valley"

From the poppy heights of their last sunny EP, Yellow Jr., Overzealous comes down from their sugar high with the darkest recording they’ve done to date. It has no heavy instrumentation, only a heavy heart. Titled “The Valley,” the five-song EP forges through the lows of guitarist/vocalist Dustin Sellers’ divorce. As the first recording they’ve done with new drummer Nick Morro, they sound complete as a trio and are still making music in the same way, but lyrically, things have pivoted to reflect the frustration, bitterness and boredom of Sellers’ experience. Abandoning their upbeat musicianship to spin a more ominous musical web, this is the most weight Overzealous has ever carried, and yet the tracks still retain a distinct glass-half-full feeling. 

Overzealous can still craft a beautiful, eerie melody, without relying on synthesizers, as they prove with the title track. Underneath a hypnotizing, shimmering sweep of guitars, Sellers sings, “She floats down, upside down, through the valley.” As far as Overzealous albums go, this is the most cryptic as there’s more room to speculate with the lyrics while the instrumentation, though still up-tempo, has come far from the simple catchiness of previous endeavors. Though vocal styles are nothing alike, instrumentally the band shares melodic similarities with Foo Fighters, stripped-down riffs with Band of Horses and even some of the cold ambience and airy percussion of Nada Surf and Matthew Good Band. Besides ’90s sentiment, “The Valley” has a quiet voice that may take a few listens to fully realize, but the melodies are no less interesting than those of other Overzealous albums. – Jessica Pace


Bear Hands, Keepaway, Brahms and Oberhofer play Deli CMJ show at Brooklyn Bowl

Tonight (Wednesday October 10) Brooklyn Bowl will host The Deli's flagship CMJ show with Bear Hands (who graced the cover of ourNYC mag's 23rd issue), Keepaway (on the cover of our latest, 24th issue), Brahms and Oberhofer. These are definitely some of the most interesting emerging artists emerging from the NYC scene in 2009, playing in one of the best venues in NYC - we hope to see you there!

Here's the schedule:
08 .00 Oberhofer
09.00 Keepaway
10.00 Brahms
11.00 Bear Hands

Full Deli CMJ show schedule here.
The Deli Staff


Album Review: The Dashing Suns - Really Like You

There seems to be a burgeoning movement of early 60s garage-inspired neo-surf rock developing around us of late. Locally with Sonny and the Sunsets, Hunx and his Punx, and the Royal Baths, and nationally with acts like Harlem and Vivian Girls, there is a wave of kitschy low-fi rock innocence crashing upon the music community. Riding high on this wave, and taking the best traditions of The Kinks, The Dashing Suns debut album Really Like You is an exciting jovial explosion of good old-fashioned rock and roll.

Ripped right from the Smiley Smile playbook, "Good Bad Vibrations" opens the album in a psychedelic swirl that would make Brian Wilson proud. By far the odd ball out on the album, “Good Bad Vibrations” (interesting and exciting as it is) differs greatly in style from the rest of the songs. Perhaps its strangeness is its purpose; quizzically opening the listener for the explosion of gritty rock that follows.

Taking off like a rocket, “Sally Moore” fires away from the eerie loops that proceeded it and really sets the mood of the album: youthful exuberance in brief volatile intervals rarely exceeding three minutes. The grittiest song on the album, and one of my favorites, “Sally Moore” is a thunderous wall of distorted guitar with a fabulous, mostly two-note solo that really highlights potential for perfection in pure simplicity.

Along with its high level of energy, Really Like You’s simplicity is one of it great strengths. Lyrically, the themes don’t extend much farther than adolescent notions of love and relationships, simple rhymes, and straightforward metaphors. This could seem incredibly superficial but in a world of such weight, unassuming levity is something of a breath of fresh air.

There is a particularly unique sort of depth to what can otherwise be termed shallow music. Shifting focus from technical aspects towards the expressive often better highlights the basic emotive value of a song; rawness that can be as deep as a magnum opus. Think of the depth in the pure expression of punk rock. Achieving greater accessibility to the fundamental feeling of the music by stripping the pretense of the form can codify a system of complex ideas that is expressed intangibly. For The Dashing Suns the energetic sound of fun can be just as loaded and invigorating as the most complex of soundscapes.

Catchy and exciting, Really Like You is highly recommended. Firmly rooted in the traditions of Herman's Hermits and The Troggs, Really Like You is a twelve track adventure into some fantastic rock and roll. Rising with the tide of like-minded 60s garage inspired groups,The Dashing Suns Really Like You should have no problem reaching the crest of this wave.


-Ada Lann


Kurt Vile Releasing New 7” Digitally on Oct. 25 and Vinyl on Nov. 9!

Kurt Vile will be releasing digitally on Monday, October 25 a new 7” via Matador called In My Time, a teaser for Vile’s upcoming LP produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Breeders, Dinosaur Jr., etc.) that will be out in 2011. The vinyl will be available on November 9. You can download the first single below. It comes just in time for his nationwide tour which includes dates with The Soft Pack and local music brethren Purling Hiss, who will be releasing their album Public Service Announcement the day after on October 26 via Woodsist. - The Deli Staff

In My Time by Kurt Vile


No Sleep Records at CMJ

LA based No Sleep Records will be hosting this fancy shindig tonight at the CMJ Music Marathon. Bands slated to play tonight include the aforementioned Into It.Over It. and Atlantic/Pacific -- both highly recommended by the Deli, and you can't really beat Into It.Over It.'s beard -- as well as rock and punk acts all over the place including Problems, O'Pioneers, Such Gold, Aficionado, My Heart To Joy, Former Thieves, Junior Battlesand more.

If you're lucky enough to be in NY tonight, doors open at 5pm, and it's $10 or free with your CMJ pass.

-Angelo Lorenzo


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