Record review: Delta Mainline – Oh! Enlightened [Rehab Sound]

Oh-EnlightenedThis is a very bold debut album from Edinburgh based septet Delta Mainline, in fact, it doesn’t sound like a debut album at all.

It sounds like a third album; trying new things, but with a few tracks from the original established sound to keep the stalwart fans happy.

Other than a short atmospheric 45 second, the opening track on is ‘Misinformation’, which kicks off the album with garage band attitude and is a pleasant surprise to get something so in your face after an introduction that suggests something closer to Sigur Ros territory.

From here the album jumps through a variety of styles and moods, there are elements of British indie, almost Spector-esque brass, post-rock tracks such as ‘Dark Energy’ and more than a few nods to The Velvet Underground.

‘The Church is Up for Sale’ would be perfectly at home on a Joy Division album, but with more mood lifting tracks surrounding it.

Impressively the whole feat is accomplished without the album sounding disjointed.

This is either a triumph of sequencing or points to a band that has a specific sound pulling together their myriad of sounds.

Clocking in at less than 40 minutes the album is a roller coaster of different styles and quite in your face.

There are moments of true beauty and enough volume to give you a hint a rock.

The album harks back to a bygone time where you’d listen to new albums and know that it was going to take some effort to build a relationship with the album. In a climate where music is becoming increasingly ephemeral, it is refreshing to hear so much mileage on a debut release.

It is in our nature to pigeonhole music and I struggle to imagine what the band sounds like live.

I will, however, be first in line for tickets next time they are in town.

Words: Neil McKenzie

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