Del Cielo - Us Vs. Them (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Del Cielo

Us Vs. Them (2005)


What do rain, bird shit, and the trio of Andrea Lisi, Basia Andolsun, and Katy Otto have in common? They all come from the sky. At least, that's what their band's name, Del Cielo, infers. Whether or not the three actually fell out of the atmosphere remains to be determined, but their aim seems to be fairly simple: a straightforward indie rock record from an all-female band. I suppose in that rite they've succeeded, but beyond simplicity, Del Cielo really don't excel at much.

I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression, as this isn't a totally bad record; it just succeeds so well at mediocrity that there's no retaining merit. The pieces are in place, but the puzzle is never quite completed. There are some solid riffs put down, though nothing that ever really impresses. The guitars do have some grit to them, but singer Andrea Lisi's voice grates more than compliments. The guitar and percussion are put in the background by the production, while Lisi's weak vocals take the forefront. Off-key most of the time, Lisi just doesn't have enough to front a band with the backing musicianship that exists here. Sorry to say, lyrically, she doesn't stand any stronger. Clichés abound, it's mostly derivative narration about break-ups.

There are some bits where the music shines through over the vocals, notably in "Three More," where some interesting chord progressions are found, and the drums keep a solid tempo amidst the vocals. The problems with the vocals don't arise here until the chorus, where it becomes painfully obvious there's some notes that Lisi just cannot hit.

I apologize for beating a dead horse on this review, but the vocals are bad almost to the point of being physically painful, and it ruins what could otherwise be a solid musical experience. Lovitt records has always had a solid roster, boasting Engine Down among others, but they dropped the ball with Us Vs. Them.