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The Deludes

The debut full-length from rising local rock phenom The Deludes is a case study in the correct approach for a self-released record. Their first, and wisest, move was to affiliate themselves with someone like renowned local producer Jim Waters, an expatriate New Yorker who moved to Tucson because he wanted to live somewhere "that didn't smell like urine."

Next, they opted to place a priority on producing an aesthetically pleasing package; the design, courtesy of The Solace Brothers' John Polle, is clean and crisp, and only loses points because it's somewhat derivative, as it's based on the "Hi Fidelity Sound" design trope borrowed mostly from jazz and easy listening LPs of the '60s.

But the songs, you say, how are the songs?! The 10 tracks on ...The Deludes make for an auspicious debut. "A Fine Mess" sets the tone from the git, a hooky pop song that features clever, syncopated interplay between the guitar and bass lines over workmanlike drumming. It's here that the listener should first start to notice the uncanny similarity between the tonal qualities of Larry Wawro's voice and Mick Jagger's. It's not intentional, merely unavoidable.

"Fight Night" is reminiscent of some of the poppier stuff that came out of D.C. in the early '90s: jangly guitar, bouncy bass, jaundiced vocals--a college radio staple. "Production Line" is the odds-on favorite to be a hit--minor key progression paired with uptempo rhythm and "work sucks" lyrical beefing. Just try not to air-drum to this song.

More by Curtis McCrary

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