Deeper: Careful! [Album Review]

| |

Sub Pop Records [2023]

Already with two albums behind them, Chicago-based Deeper is ready for their close-up on this Sub Pop debut. There’s little doubt as you take in the lush landscapes of the thirteen tracks here that this guitar driven quartet has absorbed some of the major punk/pop influences of the late-70’s and 80’s, given the obvious nods to Talking Heads, The Cure, Television, The Church, Echo & the Bunnymen… as you listen, the textures, tones, and singer Nic Gohl’s phrasing suggests they’ve tapped a rich vein to some of the most momentous innovators of the alt/rock genre. To their benefit, they’ve been at this long enough so that this new slate of songs from Deeper may still wear their influences on their sleeves, but they’ve shaken things up enough and put on a modern twist so that on tracks like “Sub” and “Tele” they feel like they’ve come into their own.

As Gohl sings in the opening, “Build A Bridge,” “It’s the right kind of rhythm.” Gohl and Drew McBride’s guitars are taut, and build the tension, much like the intricate interplay you hear in The Strokes. With the fun intro to “Fame,” you get a sense of the band working outside conventional retro expectations to create something that is uniquely Deeper, with just enough synthesizers and drum machine programming from drummer Shiraz Bhatti, while new member, bassist Kevin Fairbairn makes his contributions known on “Doublebass,” in the tight bass and guitar groove of “Glare” and the strait ahead punk of “Bite,” following Bhatti’s lead.

As far as Deeper has come, they have yet to escape the dense shadows of their major influences, but one can’t help but be grateful that they’re listening to the same bands you love hearing on your favorite indie/alternative rock station. With Careful! the band has moved further down that road, so much that by the time they get to the set closing love song, “Pressure,” they’ve tapped something real enough, something personal and authentic, that it stands quite well on its own, no need to draw a comparison. So, yes, more of this please.

“Tele” / “Build A Bridge” / “Sub”

Talking Heads / Echo & The Bunnymen / Television

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | Sub Pop Records

Brian Q. Newcomb

Sincere Engineer: Cheap Grills [Album Review]

Circus Devils – “Here We Are” [Video]


Leave a Comment