Review Summary: Through all the lies and tired eyes, he finally was able to see.
As most fans of the genre know, math rock can certainly be a tricky thing to listen to; based on its philosophy to be complex, sometimes bands lack anything interesting to offer and ignore any semblance of a coherent structure while attempting to wank in the most confusing time signature possible. Few math bands can pull off the fine line of coherence and innovation, and after establishing themselves with 2013’s Management
EP and surviving a few line-up changes, Delta Sleep’s debut full-length Twin Galaxies
proves to be not only one of the best math rock albums in some time, but is in serious consideration for one of the best albums of the year.
The most striking thing about Twin Galaxies
is that it is a bittersweet offering, mixing a sullen lyrical concept of romantic complacency with bright, beautiful guitar sounds and choppy rhythms. Based on the character’s house being swallowed up by ocean waves and him being stranded out to water, the album starts at ferocious pace with “Uncle Ivan”, with the entire band racing out of the gate with vivid musical stabs and shouting before settling down into a floating section, perfectly mimicking the waves and the character becoming stranded. The good-natured musical tones and concepts combined with the hopelessness of the conceptual theme is a terrific marriage that buoys the aquatic themes of the entire album.
And much like the shifting tides and currents, Twin Galaxies
is full of terrific musical concepts and interesting progressions. “21 Letters” starts in a carefree, easy-going manner before breaking out into dissonant guitar squeals normally reserved for post-hardcore bands. “Lake Sprinkle Sprankle”, the albums lead single and one of the album’s best songs, attacks in a start-stop manner before soothing into a sullen, minimalist ending. But not to be outdone, cuts such as “Spy Dolphin” and “Daniel Craig David” attempt a more linear progression filled with chunky rhythm choices and unexpected bursts of head-nodding rock riffs.
But as someone who firmly puts lyrics and conceptual themes in the “nice-to-have” category, the thing that ties Twin Galaxies
together is its spectacular job with imagery and concept. A man, stuck in a relationship that he is not happy with but can’t find the motivation to leave, gets a rude awakening when nature decides to change the course of his life for him, destroying the life he once knew and sending him out to sea to find a new beginning. This simple theme work perfectly with the bubbly music and the oceanic theme, and for a man who once “tried to escape but I can't seem shake all these pictures of us” eventually grows and evolves towards the album’s bittersweet closer “Strongthany”: “Through all the lies and tired eyes, he finally was able to see. That land is bound show itself, as well as all the fish in the sea”.
Truly, Delta Sleep has put forth an incredible effort with Twin Galaxies
, and hopefully will be a force to be reckoned with in the genre for years to come.