Don Dehlia
Don Dehlia


2.5
average

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
November 11th, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don Dehlia has hints of brilliance, but is ultimately weighted by commonplace tendencies.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind I want to enjoy Don Dehlia’s self-titled EP. It sounds kind of nostalgic, evoking memories of adolescent life and my initial foray into post-hardcore. But the thing is, Don Dehlia suffers greatly from being inexperienced and is very much pigeonholed in ‘the scene’. You know the one I’m referring to: the scene whose target audience is comprised of a much younger, angsty demographic of kids who are just starting to delve into less commercialized music but don’t know quite where to start. Bands like these might be good for transitional purposes, but ultimately they’re ten a penny. No matter which angle you approach Don Dehlia from, it’s nigh impossible to get past how young it sounds. Despite the technical proficiency of the guitarists and drummer, the vocals - both screamed and cleanly sung - are so blatantly derivative of indie-rock and post-hardcore bands that it tarnishes the overall listening experience.

In fact, it’s a shame that there’s so much focus on the vocals, because the actual music on offer occasionally straddles the line between greatness and excellence. The first song “Living Spaces” sees the band play more to their experimental rock sensibilities, occasionally throwing in math-rock-esque guitar work in the vein of Maps and Atlases. “Shnazz” spreads its influences far and wide, employing elements of math-metal, noise-rock, progressive, and even - listen to this - some ska. It’s the only time on the EP that the band seems convicted and unified. The break-neck paced ending of “Shnazz” sees each member playing to the best of their abilities: frenetic guitar picking and left-field solos make an appearance when the song starts to collapse in on itself, eventually segueing into an erratic conclusion. But ultimately the drummer saves this and many other songs from being aimless throwaways. It’s pretty obvious that he’s the best asset the band has - he plays circles around everyone else and should be commended for his deft handling of drum-fills and cymbal crashes. Still, Artyom Madorsky dirties this brilliance too often. “Loriann” could have been great - Madorsky enters the song tastefully with shouts closely resembling Dustin Kensrue of Thrice - but it shifts its tone from sporadic to laid-back and restrained in such an awkward manner. Perhaps with a more competent vocalist it would be welcomed, but with Kensrue’s cleans being as commonplace as they are, it just feels contrived beyond belief.

Overall, Don Dehlia’s debut EP shows glimmers of brilliance, but all of the best moments are sullied by impoverished vocals and awkward tonal shifts. The cleans sound typically whiny and juvenile, but the shouts don’t seem like they’d be too out of place on a record like Vheissu (with some tweaking) - even if they are a little grating at times. In “Elenher Historia” Madorsky can’t seem to find an acceptable middle-ground for his shouts and clean vocals as his voice keeps shifting from one to the other. This seems to be the overlying conflict here: which works best? Hopefully Madorsky goes back to the drawing board to figure it out, but I’ll say this in his defense: when he’s on, he’s pretty decent. The instrumentation is awe-inspiring on the album closer and quite impressive elsewhere, but ultimately Don Dehlia do very little to distinguish themselves from their contemporaries, resulting in a passable affair with little to revisit. This is just one EP though; who knows where the band will venture from here. At any rate, the potential is definitely there, they just need to find their niche.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
November 11th 2011


15941 Comments


I don't seriously expect this to get much attention, but you guys can check out the songs here: http://dondehlia.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled The last one is actually pretty good, you guys should check it out.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

pizzamachine
November 11th 2011


12571 Comments


Not really a short review but it is for you! : ) pos

Gyromania
November 11th 2011


15941 Comments


Thanks man! Check out that last song if you get a chance.

Rev
November 11th 2011


9437 Comments


Matt's getting ready to try out for Contributor next year haha


Great review, as per usual man

Gyromania
November 11th 2011


15941 Comments


Lol. Thank you kind sir =]

Btw, guys - how beautiful is that album cover? Shame this isn't very good.

Tyrael
November 11th 2011


20901 Comments


I'm still having troubles getting into Alt & Indie so I'm definitely not gonna check this out...

That said, wicked review Matthew!

pizzamachine
November 11th 2011


12571 Comments


Hmm he sounds similar to the I Am Abomination vocalist.

The last song was great.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2011


23909 Comments


good review, this sounds dumb

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

scissorlocked
November 12th 2011


3511 Comments


nice review bro

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

Gyromania
November 12th 2011


15941 Comments


Thank you guys, much appreciated.

Thomas: I was going to say that this isn't so much rooted in indie-rock as it is post-hardcore, but I
see that you've already heard it :P I was leaning towards a 2/5 as well, but I figured it's just
their first EP and it's definitely not totally offensive. There's a lot of room for improvement, I
just hope they trade out the vocals or do something to tweak 'em.

Tyrael
November 12th 2011


20901 Comments


Hehe yeah I was kinda confused by the band page which said alt & indie but I didn't like it anyway so yeah ^^

Gyromania
November 12th 2011


15941 Comments


I put them in alt-indie just because they also have traits of many other genres, but yeah, maybe I should change that, lol.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2011


7312 Comments


This review is really, really good. Kudos Gyro. With every passing review I start to believe that they should have promoted you to Contrib even more firmly.

Gyromania
November 12th 2011


15941 Comments


Thank you so much dude =] your words make me blush. I actually wasn't even particularly proud of this one - it was admittedly rushed because I wrote it right after my Cynic review and I focused most of time and energy on that one :P

dbkazz
November 23rd 2011


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The vocalist on this recording is actually a gentleman named Alex Reyes. Madorsky is the vocalist now however.

yeayates21
January 6th 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I respectfully disagree with the fact that they are dime a dozen. I think this band is extremely talented and way better then just average. There are a ton of different influences that go into the EP which give it a lot of layers and depth to the release. Your profile states you only listen to 8% post-hardcore, so how can you give it a fair assessment when your not even a huge fan of the genre? If your a fan of La Dispute, Fall Of Troy, older mewithoutYou, Circa Survive, etc. then check out this band because I think you'll really dig them and you'll find originality in them. If your not into that kind of music you probably won't like it, which is fine, to each their own. On a side note, Matt, I think your a good writer and made some ok points but I respectfully disagree with "but is ultimately weighted by commonplace tendencies."



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