The Brighton based quartet Delta Sleep are no stranger to pushing the boundaries and with their latest release Twin Galaxies it’s not only about doing so, but finding a niche for it to fit. Their experimental approach never strays to far from the edge and they always seem to hone in on what’s important. There are a few moments on the album that break the monotony of simply going from track to track. As a whole though, the album flows with a sense of unbridled enthusiasm that’s always kept it in check.
“21 Letters” one of the more upbeat tracks on the record is bursting with energy. From the jangling guitars in the intro to a slick groove with open chords in the middle 8, that sets up the calm before the storm. Before you know it, the breakdown erupts into a cacophony of dissonant chords. It’s a shock to the system but for all the right reasons. Lyrically for an album with songs titles like “Lake Sprinkle Sprankle” and “Daniel Craig David” the themes here are quite conventional . These songs are about failed relationships and young love, but the way they convey these ideas are far from conventional.
The stand out track on the album by far is “Spy Dolphins” which is set up by the electronically charged “Spy Turtle”. This two minute synthetic dream is the bands furthest foray away from their more traditional sound. As it fades out we are treated to the bands signature guitar squealing riffs as “Spy Dolphins” emerges from the deep. This 6 minute stomper is a fairly standard math rock affair with it’s jangling overlapping guitar parts. Delta Sleep gracefully move through the 7/8 time signature always maintaining a focus on the groove, however rhythmically complex it may be. The song crescendos beautifully showing of the bands indie rock credentials, it’s capped off by a vocal that weaves its way through the fabric of the groove and can’t help but stay in your head.
In terms of where they sit on the math rock spectrum they’re not as in love with open chords as Toe and not as manic as Adebisi Shank. They mix a melodically sensibility with a rhythmic complexity that few of their counterparts can match. They never shy away from mixing things up and it’s only when they fail to this that things become stale . ” Daniel Craig David” while as competent as some of the other tracks on the record, lacks diversity. As impressive as it is musically it would have benefited with a lead of some sort to bring things together. the track that follows suffers from the same fate, lacking some much needed variety.
Despite these late stumbles they finish off strong, with a track that really shakes things up. “Strongthany” is easily the most adventurous song on the record. Full of dissonant strokes and hard hitting drums, it eventually dissolves to make way for a dreamy interlude. The song makes a drastic change melodically throwing away their chromaticism for open chords and choral vocals. It is this song that best represents the bands dichotomy seamlessly transitioning from mood to mood and groove to groove. Although the album isn’t flawless there are enough signs here that Delta Sleep are really starting to find out what makes them tick. They’re a band that aren’t afraid of experimenting and taking risks, sometimes it blows up in their face but more often then not they create a winning formula.