Deleted Scenes - Young People's Chuch of the Air (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Deleted Scenes

Young People's Chuch of the Air (2011)

Sockets Records

With their jittery dance rhythms, Washington, D.C.'s Deleted Scenes recall classic punk acts like XTC and Talking Heads. In application, they recall local heroes like Dismemberment Plan and even contemporary dance outfit High Places. A handful of their songs even recall early Arcade Fire. Pick whichever comparison gets you to start listening. The group's new album, Young People's Church of the Air, is a hypnotic, lushly arranged record, eminently danceable yet constantly shifting.

"A Litany for Mrs. T" opens the record with soft noise and coos before drummer Brian Hospital shifts the song into something more propulsive. Each member of Deleted Scenes adds an important element to the songs, but it's Hospital's drumming that really decides where a song is going. "A Litany" has certain shoegaze elements--the atmospheric guitar work, the blurred and blended vocals--and these things become more pronounced on track two, "The Days of Adderall." At the same time, the song adds in more world music rhythms, as if Young People's was the belated shoegaze response to Graceland.

Generally speaking, the album is a swirling, catchy mess. But from track to track, the band shifts gears as they see fit. "A Bunch of People Who Loved You Like Crazy" opts for heavy layers of noise before abruptly switching to the sleepy acoustic number "Nassau." At just 39 minutes in length, the record feels epic in scope but still wraps up neatly without overplaying any one style. Still, the most successful tracks are the most danceable. That includes "Burglarizing the Deaf," given a prime spot on the record by kicking up the energy after chilling out with "Nassau" for a while. "English as a Second Language" has it all though, a funky electronic beat, a catchy chorus and an explosive outro. That one's "the hit."

Young People's is just Deleted Scenes' second album, but it has such an enticing atmosphere to it by blending together post-punk and shoegaze with indie rock. There's not a single dud among the 11 tracks. Live, the songs transform to an epic electrical burst. Here, they have a little more nuance, playing up quieter elements and building more tension. Regardless of the volume, though, the tunes are solid.