Deli Creeps
Dawn Of The Deli Creeps



by Rumpelnostran USER (7 Reviews)
January 11th, 2008 | 4 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Grabbing you by the neck with its killer opening riff, this album proudly showcases the most of the old Deli Creeps classics... but it feels a touch restrained, and the new songs feel sub-par in comparison...

Well, it only took fourteen years, but at long last, here it is – the Deli Creeps’ first full-length album. The act developed a local cult following in the early nineties, when the band started performing their unique style of music at a number of gigs before breaking up in 1991, leaving behind a poorly recorded demo and a number of highly sought-after bootlegs. The second regrouping wasn’t too productive record-wise either, but at least the 1996 demo is just as swell as its predecessor... finally, the third time around, the album was born, and there is no denying that it was well worth the wait, since it features some really splendid playing as well as interesting new arrangements of the old classics with the aid of the handy baritone guitar. The new cuts don’t generally hold their ground when compared to the established material, though, and the album feels too sterile for a Deli Creeps record...

There is no denying that the Deli Creeps have always held a special place in Buckethead’s heart – it was his first band, the majority of his best riffage turned into Deli Creeps songs, plus he’s always been more than willing to bring the band back together when Maximum Bob found it suitable (since it seems that the band’s existence is determined by Bob’s will). This shows here as well – whether the song is an old set list staple or something fresh from the coop, Big B seems to rip the heart out of his chest and energetically splatter it over the strings to make the riff rock harder or the solo jerk even more tears (or drop your jaw even further, depends on the song). Even on his best solo records, he rarely sounds so into the project he’s part of, and that’s definitely a good thing. Just tell me whether you’ve ever heard him (or any other guitarist, for that matter) put as much guts into a lead as he does in “Found Body” – that solo is pure perfection, one of Big B’s finest, plus it’s so heartfelt that despite it’s ridiculous shortness it manages to make my eyes moisten up...

When a band has fourteen years’ worth of time, even with the breakups included, to hone their skills, it is undeniable that some sort of sonic evolution must occur. Just compare the old nineties demos to this record and see how the tracks developed... I’m not claiming that all changes are for the best, but if the new opening riff of “Can I Have A Ride?” doesn’t grab you by the neck and smear you all over the walls of your little room then there is little I can do to aid you in your quest for sheer metal goodness. That piece is the prime example of how a song can grow from a bizarre novelty, a funny oddity far from being the driving force of the demos to a masterful headliner, a true flagship of the album sporting a feisty, melodic solo and more power than ever. Another grand development is “Random Killings” – it matured, grew even more evil and disturbing, and remains the epitome of the Deli Creeps, wrapping up the record with unquestionable style. Unfortunately, the dull mumbling over a stale drum beat doesn’t get “Boom Ch Ka” rolling like it should, even if the banjos help out later on, and I can’t help but feel that the old early-nineties scorching heartfelt beast of a lead isn’t worthily substituted by the funky noodling in “Dream Girl”...

A major change that can be seen on the record is the usage of the baritone guitar. Even though the record was one of the last ones to be issued during Buckethead’s drop-tuning obsession era, it can’t be denied that the riffage sounds even greater than usual a fourth lower. “Chores” groove harder than ever (and that’s DEFINITELY saying something!), the vocal line lowered to suit the new backing in the chorus of “Can I Have A Ride?” becomes irresistibly hooking, plus “Grandpa Joe” and “Random Killings” finally get the fierceness and grit that their higher tuned versions failed to grasp, yet seemed to yearn for. Unfortunately, the guitar tone leaves a lot to be desired, and actually destroys some songs on its own – “Dream Girl” has never sounded so stale, since the powerful rhythm part calls for a roaring distortion, and not a subdued crunch. Even “Can I Have A Ride?” feels a little weakened by the discreet guitar tone – the palm-muted pre-chorus feels a little weak, and it doesn’t build up the climax in the chorus like it should.

There is one major drawback of this record – it feels overly sterile. Of course, it is obvious that a studio offering will nor yield us any psychotic, “Feast Of Freaks” style wailing from Maximum Bob, but it seems that Brewer told him to tone down the insanity. At times I feel as if the man wants to go completely apesh*t like he did on the demos or even “The Hand”, but the producer’s alert eyes from the other side of the glass tell him to stay far from the far side... a few times, he actually manages to squeeze a little unbalanced freakiness – there is a manic, yet rather shy yell in “Flesh For The Beast”, and it seems cut, as if Brewer woke up from the kip and turned Bob’s mike off. I will not complain about the processed tone of the instruments, since it was obvious that once an album comes around, the overall sound will not be as raw as the demos, and even if it makes me uncomfortable at times to hear a perfect, hiss-less silence when Maximum Bob is ranting, but it does add to the sterility as well. The obvious victim is “Boom Ch Ka” – I could even risk stating that Maximum Bob sounds downright angry at Brewer here for subduing his bloated insanity...

Another thing that I want to mention is that the new songs are not quite up to par with the old legends, and their selection remains rather illogical to me. The only recent cut that manages to easily hold up against the relentless assault of rerecorded Deli Creeps classics is “Found Body” – catchy, surreal, essential. “Grandpa Joe” is not bad, but feels like album filler when coupled against “Chores”, which comes right afterwards. “Buried Deep Stays Buried Still” is okay, but it does not sound like a Deli Creeps song at all. “Time” is decent, but it is far from being a good heir to the surprisingly omitted “Shadows”. I will not even bother mentioning the remaining new songs – they’re mediocre and forced, and while they add to the play time of the record, they leave seldom little behind. An honorary smite goes to the two Maximum Bob ‘rants’, since they feel very uninspired and generic, of course when his standards are taken into account. Was it really necessary to include them? We’ve heard Bob do way better on tour, perhaps a recap on the ranting about Iroquois tortures with Buckethead’s trademark creepy augmented chord strumming in the background could have substituted at least one of these cuts...? Also, why were four classics (“Tribal Rites”, “Shadows”, “Bend Up”, “Feast Of Freaks”) omitted? Why did we get to hear some splendid new material live (“We Aren’t World”), but it didn’t make the album? Eh? Okay, I guess I was a bit harsh here, since the new tunes featured are not bad, and I’d enjoy them greatly if they were from another band, but the Deli Creeps have set the bar ridiculously high once they showed us what they’re capable of, and these songs are definitely sub-par compared to the legends included on the very same disc...

At long last, a Deli Creeps album sees the daylight, and it isn’t shabby at all. The old classics grew, the new songs are worse, but still okay, and the baritone guitar only adds to the power of the record. Buckethead puts himself into the project full-heartedly, and the results are excellent. However, the record feels sterile, since Maximum Bob’s madman ranting is oddly restrained, and the gaping omissions from the track list detract from the record’s quality, since the missing classics are substituted by sub-par new compositions. However, let’s hope that the Creeps learn from their mistake and that their next album (despite their third hiatus, I’m positive that they’ll eventually get back together, unless Bob dies of a stroke before) will contain the forgotten tracks... Oh yeah, and the opening riff is indeed killer.

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user ratings (18)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 12th 2008


You really like Buckethead.

Good review.

Digging: Rosetta - Terra Sola

January 12th 2008


I love how it says "Recent reviews by this author: Buckethead Buckethead Buckethead Buckethead Buckethead"

Another fine review, although Confessed does have a point

Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2010


This album is so sexy

Digging: Yellow Eyes - Rare Field Ceiling

February 27th 2010


This is great. The First song sounds like Tool Meets Clutch.

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