It’s my birthday. What better way to celebrate then by writing a review? Or even better, two reviews? Cause that’s exactly what I’m going to do, starting with a band called Deepshade and their album Everything Popular Is Wrong. The term “alternative” doesn’t mean what it used to, but if it were the 90s, that’s exactly how I’d best describe Deepshade’s sound, though they don’t by any means sound like a band re-hashing 90s alternative rock. I mean if I had to pick a common thread between each song, it would be a grunge influence in just about every song, but that doesn’t say enough so just keep reading.
Really though, Everything Popular Is Wrong is one of those albums of surprising diversity. Opening track Time might have you thinking Deepshade are a hard pounding punk influenced grunge band, because that’s exactly how the song may seem, but then listen to next track The Line and while there is still a bit of a grungy sound, its influence seems to lie in a rock and roll direction, while still maintaining a fast beat. If you think those tracks still sound alike, then listen to Out Of Hand, which is considerably slower and better written and structured.
Everything Popular Is Wrong is filled with other songs that are well written, like Haven’t Said A Word which transitions from being slow to fast, but it’s intensity remains consistent until about half way through which makes for an interesting display of the chemistry between the three band members. That’s another thing, Deepshade does not sound like just three members. I can believe it on the short and simple yet hook filled Tattoo, but not on so many other songs like Lowlights and Chairman. Oh and speaking of Chairman, what tightness the band shows, with its intense and complex rhythm and effective guitar fills and harmonized vocals, it’s one of, if not the most standout track on Everything Popular Is Wrong.
I don’t know if I have a favourite song from Everything Popular Is Wrong, but I sure love the guitar riff of Bring The Axe Down and the way they turn the riff into a whole mid-tempo song. The closest thing Deepshade get to playing a ballad is on The Mud, the Blood and the Tears. Actually, it is a ballad, and I’m always a sucker for a ballad. I like it as Everything Popular Is Wrong’s only ballad, even though I didn’t take to it at first. I thought it dragged at first and I still see why I saw that listening to it now, but I don’t feel that way about the track anymore.
The song that I still just can’t get excited about is closing track Sad Sun. It’s the longest song on Everything Popular Is Wrong at almost seven minutes, which I think plays a part, because I think it could be a couple minutes shorter. It’s a well written track like pretty much all other songs Deepshade has presented on the album, but it lacks the hooks and dynamics to keep my attention.
Regardless, Everything Popular Is Wrong is surely one of the better independent albums I’ve heard all year, and a great one to write about on my birthday. It’s diversity lies in Deepshade‘s ability to write a good alternative song. The songs aren’t different styles from one another, but they each have their own characteristics, so its listeners won’t really know what to expect next, which is my favourite kind of album. Even some of my highest ranked albums don’t have that trait about them. With intelligence and integrity, Everything Popular Is Wrong shows Deepshade are a band that you shouldn’t miss.
Thanks for reading!
“Lowlights” – I had this pegged as the highlight at first listen. An album like this doesn’t make choosing a highlight to be an easy task, but this track always seemed to be a good blend of the bands grunge influence blended with their pop intelligence. The band’s Soundcloud account doesn’t let me embed this song, but here’s a link to hear the song.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|3.||Out of Hand||4:56|
|5.||Haven’t Said a Word||5:17|
|6.||Bring the Axe Down||4:16|
|8.||The Mud, the Blood and the Tears||4:51|