Hail the Brits for contributing yet another subgenre to rock music. While the Klaxons get a majority of its credit, Liverpool band The Delta Fiasco is further extending the popularity of nu rave rock — a combination of disco, electronic, New Wave, and European sounds. Nu rave is kind of a concert experience designation, which can also translate a bit through the music itself.
The Delta Fiasco (Simon Hilton — drums, percussion; Nathan Walczak — vocals, guitars, synthesizers; Nik Bentley — guitars, synthesizers, laptops, programming) might not be the prototypical nu rave band, mixing the distinct experimental stylings of Radiohead and the modern dance-tinged flavorings of New Young Pony Club and Hot Chip. Dreameater‘s opening track “Uh-Oh” perfectly epitomizes this blend, with Walczak matching Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals and Hilton and Bentley providing club-pumping chorus chants.
The EP traverses this path for a little while, which sadly gets repetitive. “Paperhouse” offers a less-crowd pleasing but also less annoying chorus. “Easy” mimics its predecessors, but for a time hesitated in going in a different direction by adding a vocal-less strictly instrumental section before succumbing to the standard repeating end-chorus.
Luckily the trio breaks up its well-established musical mold in “White Rat” and “Death Letters” (download mp3 here) with their slightly mellower and slightly less up-tempo beats. “White Rat” has a decidedly more retro and more European feel than the earlier tracks, while “Death Letter” better utilizes the instrumentals as primary tools with the vocals being supplements. More often than not bands get bogged down in lyrics and don’t emphasize the melodies non-vocally enough.
The band’s motivation, as Walczak explains, is “to catch just one person in the crowd thinking, ‘what the f*ck is happening?’” (press release). It’s unfortunate that more praise has been given to the band’s live performance and not so much to the band’s recordings. Well, I guess you would need a good musical foundation before attempting to entertain a crowd. I wasn’t able to get a good sense of the band live through any of the available YouTube videos (here or here) so I guess I have to rely on word of mouth.
Despite periods of repetition, Dreameater is an entertaining first glimpse at Liverpool’s newest nu rave rock export.