My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Mon
    15
  • Tue
    16
  • Wed
    17
  • Thu
    18
  • Fri
    19
  • Sat
    20
  • Sun
    21
Suds & Science Sep 15, 2014 A bimonthly event that brings scientists into a neighborhood bar for a 15-to-20-minute informative presentation followed by a discussion with the audience. Here, Karen Pierce, assistant director of the Autism Center of Excellence at UCSD, shares new research confirming that autism begins during pregnancy. 55 other events on Monday, September 15
 
Spin Cycle
And speaking of fights, who would win: Jason Roe or a great white shark?
Arts & Culture feature
Holding a brief candle to a locally made modern thriller
News
Climate plan, water conservation and bag ban are on the slow track
Check 1, Check 2 | Music & nightlife
Band plays live for first time in 20 years
Concerts
Bands coming to town and just-announced shows

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014

Deadphones go dark on their debut

Former Cuckoo Chaos members reconvene with a new sound

By Jeff Terich

Deadphones
Deadphones (Waaga)

When Cuckoo Chaos announced late last year that their time was coming to an end, it seemed like more of a symbolic end than anything. The five musicians in the band would continue performing together, just under a different name: Deadphones. It wouldn't be the first time a group went through the trouble of changing its name, either: The Grateful Dead used to be The Warlocks, and Red Hot Chili Peppers started out as Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem, just to throw out two examples.

Even during Cuckoo Chaos' last year, however, they seemed like an entirely different band. In their live shows, they increasingly distanced themselves from older songs, instead favoring a denser, darker sound that harbored only a trace of the Caribbean-influenced indie pop of their sole album release, Woman. The group's commitment to a new sound and direction is on display on Deadphones' self-titled debut album, a taut yet atmospheric set of eclectic dream-pop that slinks in shadows rather than frolics in sunlight.

As good a band as Cuckoo Chaos was, Deadphones is better. Yet rather than sounding like an entirely separate entity, this is almost like the yang to Cuckoo Chaos' yin—the evil twin, the bad cop. And damned if it isn't fun to hear the group explore more spacious and sinister grooves, often presented in subtler ways. The album's first song, "On Being a Psycho," eases in slowly with a sparse bass line and gently lilting guitar licks, only to jab you with a boom of percussion and handclaps. It hits unexpectedly, effectively ratcheting up what was an already-tense atmosphere.

"Somnambulator" billows and drifts with space-age synth sounds while building into a tropical shoegaze sound that feels more like an extension of the group's past material than anything else here. The group adds some dramatic flourishes of piano on "Do I," trippy vocal effects on "Skinless" and simply some of their best hooks yet on "Pictures." 

Given the sophistication and intricacy of Deadphones' first outing, it occurs to me that there's a much simpler way of looking at the band: This is what Cuckoo Chaos sounds like grown up.


Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close