Rhythm & Views

The DeLudes

Many have said there's nothing new to be done with rock music, that all the ideas are already out there, and the only thing a band can do is find new ways to rehash them. One band that obviously took that theory to heart is Tucson power trio The DeLudes.

Three of the four songs on the band's debut EP, all varied in style, contain elements of other, more familiar songs, but are swiped so briefly and subtly that the very theft becomes artful (and, quite possibly, even unintentional).

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the disc's opening song, "Bad Advice," a choppy-chord guitar-pop tune that reminds of a time when a band didn't need keyboards to be called "new wave." Inserted into the song's bridge are two lines that ape the melody of Billy Joel's own ode to new wave, "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me," but the excerpt passes so quickly that the end result is one of instant familiarity with the new song, as opposed to cries of "ripoff."

Elsewhere, "Up For Some Down Time" nicks the guitar riff of The Replacements' "Bastards of Young," while completely rewriting the melody and structure; and the sparse, aching ballad "Poison in the Well," echoes April Wine's power ballad of yore, "Just Between You and Me," minus the "power" (until its final 30 seconds, anyway).

The ultimate effect, then, is comparable to rap music's use of sampling: Would you rather listen to De La Soul concoct a work of art around two notes of Steely Dan's "Peg," or hear P(enis) Diddler rap over a CD-R of The Police's "Every Breath You Take"?

To borrow from one of their own song titles, The Deludes are no mere charlatans, but impressive songwriters who know their way around glorious and inventive guitar-pop songs.

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