Delphic – Acolyte

January 01, 1970



Throw some electronic tones and surges into a cauldron, then
stir in a good helping of red-blooded impulse. Add a few cups of passionate
tenor vocals and several pounds of tight beats. On another burner is a pot full
of solid songwriting. Mixing it into the first pot brings the stew to a roaring
boil that The Times of London and NME were quick to call one of the best
2010 debuts.


Whether American listeners will be as jazzed by the recent
stateside release of Acolyte is
another matter – only two of these guys tend to sport facial hair, and none
have been caught wearing flannel. But it’s a safe bet to assume that anyone
craving music inspired by New Order-vintage new wave and danceable synth pulses
will download at least a few tracks. And here’s a confession: At least one
American gets excited by guys with “Acolyte,” “Ephemera,” “Clarion (Call)” and
“Halcyon” in their vocabulary.


Delphic has mastered the tricky merging of emotion with pop
writing, rock propulsion, and basic time signatures that, courtesy of
electronic double beats, sometimes sounds much faster.


What’s really interesting: these Manchester boys created their sounds on
laptops before picking up bass, drums, and guitars for live performance with
prerecorded tracks. Peter Hook might find this trajectory exciting. Ian Curtis?
The jury’s out. But maybe that’s a projection: A sparser approach — less sound
effects and general filler, on at least a few tracks — could have earned at
least another star from this quarter, and perhaps pared some of the trip factor
from the band’s purportedly killer live presence. Which would, it seems, defeat
the point.


Standout Tracks: “Doubt,”
“Submission,” “Counterpoint,” “Remain” MARY LEARY


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