Written By: Darwin Green
Label: Kanine – Rating:
Frontman Kurt Feldman must have spent a lot of time staring up at the clouds while playing an old, 8-bit NES, because that’s the sort of ambient and electronica textures that embody the sound for The Depreciation Guild. At once ethereal, robotic, and expansive, the album generally sounds like a male version of Blonde Redhead without most of the darkness and a lot less emphasis on the vocals. Royksopp comes to mind as well, but with leanings toward Postal Service the sound doesn’t attempt to bring the listener into a techno-symphonic world as much as its pop, song-driven style hits home.
There are some exceptions. “Digital Solace” takes one into a futuristic, fanciful, and furiously paced world of tenderness. With a bbm that The Spoozys would embrace to the fullest, the song remains pleasant and sweet enough emotionally to play even on the slowest of romantic nights. In fact, the whole album plays as a soundtrack to lovemaking for the digital age.
The title track, in this reviewer’s opinion, reveals itself as the emotional core of the album, with good reason why it has the same name of the whole album. This single song represents, without vocals, the sound and style of each song on the album. The Nintendo really comes through on this one, as well as the heavily-reverbed guitars and driving, pulsating electronica beat. It ends the same way many of the songs do, with a huge rise and then an almost unexpected fizzle of sounds out.
The rest of album floats gently down the same stream, sustaining the listener through dreamy atmospheres of reverb and drifting melodies into the gentle jaws of the album’s name.