Everyone knows there is a difference between East and West coast rap. When it comes to our favorite genre though, sometimes that division is a little grey. Yeah, when you get a CD from a band in the UK, one pretty much (for the most part) knows what to expect. However it has been a few years since we've had that "New York sound" or "Sunny Cali vibe" comparisons in the alternative world on a mass scale. On the first few listens to The Deadly Syndrome's new album, The Ortolan, that division line has been drawn in the sand. While New York seems to be full of the next hipster Animal Collective clones (not that there is anything wrong with that), California is hard at work creating interesting and beautifully layered melodic music. The band's label mates, Foreign Born, are no different.
The Ortolan unfolds with the dirty yet uplifting "Eucalyptus," where crashing drums and a xylophone dance together in perfect harmony. Fans of Sea Wolf and Badly Drawn Boy will swoon to the soft-spoken "Wolves In The Garden," while "Winter In You" and "This Old Home" bear a striking resemblance to Arcade Fire. "Friends Who Don't Go Out At Night" could have been a track written in the heyday of Mod, with strong keys and pushed back drums, and the psychedelic opening of "Heart" melts into a fist-pumping jam. "Emily Pants," whose song title rules by the way, is a danceable number with a death disco drumbeat.
The Deadly Syndrome is currently on tour with Oh No! Oh My! and Let's Go Sailing, but then will hit the road with Hot Hot Heat. Our advice is to go see them live and say you saw them before they blew up big. In the meantime, keep checking back on The Tripwire in the upcoming weeks for some exclusive previews from the band.