Music Review

Deeper – Careful!

todaySeptember 13, 2023 83 3 4

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By – Kristi Houk

Recommended if you like: The Cars, Gang of Four, The Strokes, Arcade Fire  Talking Heads, Early Cure, Television

Don’t be afraid of a little post-post-post punk. Is that even a thing? It is now. 

The Chicago quartet, Deeper, is definitely carrying that torch. Careful!, their latest release and debut on the famed Sub Pop label, is a stroke of dark wave, post punk genius. The album is rife with minor chords and angular guitar hooks that would make Tom Verlaine smile. 

All the right influences are there – especially on stand out track, “Glare” with the speedy guitar hooks and coked out vocals a la Ben Orr of The Cars or Bowie on Aladdin Sane.  Hearing it makes you get all twitchy and shaky. Music for those of us who can’t dance but feel compelled to anyway.  Lyrically, “Glare” and much of the album encourages the listener to trust (in fact, the word ‘trust’ shows up a lot on this record). Trust your instincts. “I can’t believe that this is life… And no one is right.” Vocalist and guitarist, Nic Gohl gives his best David Byrne— “Oh my god, what have I done?” from their hit “Once in a Lifetime.”        

Near the end of the record, the tracks become more stretched out and a bit more stream of consciousness and repetitive. On “Airplane Air” Gohl seems to have trouble relating. To what? I’m not so sure. Other people’s actions? He’s careless but also careful. It’s difficult to relinquish control but maybe he’s learning to. Perhaps we all should.    

This record is meant to be listened to at night. In a city. Walking past people hanging out, in conversation, arguing or kissing. You aren’t a victim. Instead – “You’re a part of it here.”   Careful! is an invitation to stay alive despite the pressures off life. 

Stand Out Tracks:  “Glare,” “Tele,” “Airplane Air,” “Pressure” 

Written by: kristi houk

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