Deluka is the type of group that helps set the mood. With their infectious self-titled EP, they introduced the world to their engaging blend of electronica and rock, creating the captivating single "Cascade." And until the release of the album You Are The Night, the question has been, "What's next?" "Cascade" is such an engaging song that you couldn't help but wonder what the next direction this Brooklyn-based four-piece would take. But to truly understand the dichotomy between the Deluka that made "Cascade" and the Deluka of the rest of You Are The Night, you'd have to truly understand "Cascade." When it comes to the combination between electronica and other genres, in today's musical mainstream, that typically means pulsing dance beats, trance synths, and then some guitars. That does not hold true for "Cascade," which in comparison seems slick and laid back. The track traipses along at a slower tempo, not worried about much at all except being itself. The electronic flourishes that occur within the track - various keyboard effects and arpeggios - are part of the whole but take a backseat to the organic-sounding percussion, visceral bass guitar, and the vocals themselves. It pulls together like a track created to make you go, "Wow." And it is probably the weakest track on You Are The Night.
Hit Play, Get Punched
"OMFG" begins as soon as you hit play, and it's a sucker punch to the face. It is gutsy and driving, the growling bass and the bop-along percussion of the verse leads directly into a strong chorus all before it really delves into any sort of electronica. This song is pure rock in 2011 fashion. "OMFG" is Deluka making a statement. It is simultaneously the strongest track on the album and a strong contender for "anthemic rock song of 2011." It sets the standard high. And the rest of the album sits comfortably below that bar, only missing it by a few inches. Take "Name On My Lips," a strong lyrical track with far more electronic flourishes than "OMFG," with an engaging and memorable chorus; the track begs for radio consumption, but for which year? "Name On My Lips" wishes it was 2006, when The Veronicas had a Secret Life Of... and Damone was Out Here All Night. In that climate, this song (and the rest of the album) would fit in effortlessly. However, it is 2011 and heavy electronica rules the airways, not stellar examples of girl-fronted rock. And that is perhaps what makes You Are The Night an album to watch out for. It is never always easy to see who is going to change the game, and while I doubt that enough of the world will pay attention to an album that truly deserves it, stranger things have happened. "Come Back To Me" would be a sister song to "Name On My Lips" and "Cascade," being catchy and memorable while also a little slicker and more laid back than tracks like "OMFG."
It's pretty much all easy to consume, too. Deluka never makes things more difficult than they have to be, except perhaps on "Nevada" which sounds like a complicated Franz Ferdinand song. I find it a little tough to get into, but it's got a great beat so that may be what grabs your attention. But songs like "Snapshot," even at under 2 minutes, grabs you by the (figurative) balls and makes you pay attention. The song is well-written, well-performed, and plays like it's twice as long without ever seeming tedious. And "Mean Streak" has a chorus that sticks in your head long after the song ends, involving more electronica than even "Name On My Lips" but still giving that "grrr" that personifies Deluka's music. Taking the electronica to the next step, "Trespasser" sounds like a Soundwax track that slipped off the table while they were recording it and hid until Deluka stopped by and did their thing with it.
The end of the album is where things get lazy. "Waves" plays easily
enough but lacks the pop qualities that the rest of the album
possesses. It is well-written and a better example of the group
aiming for just rock than anything else, but lacks that oomph I like
in my music. I feel the same way about the frantic and upbeat
"Morning Comes." While it is fun, it lacks the replay value most of
the album gives. And "Capitol City," the near 6-minute album closer,
has great guitar moments and a great beat and the production of the
track alone may have you coming back for more if, like me, you find
the lyrical content a little lacking.
You Are The Night is the album to beat for 2011 electronica-infused
rock. Chances are it will show strong staying power as the year
continues, as most artists will not be making music like this.
Standout tracks include "OMFG," "Snapshot," "Name On My Lips," and
"Mean Streak," with an honorable mention for "Trespasser."
Released October 2010 on Vel/RCA Records.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy