Impressive Mix of Influences and Styles
Since their inception in 2007, Nashville rockers The Delta Saints have been combining an eclectic blend of styles and genres into a sound that has been described as “bourbon-fueled bayou rock.” There are smatterings of rock, blues, country and even R&B tied up within their songs. The band scored a nice dose of publicity when the song “Sometimes I Worry,” from their previous record 2015’s Bones, wound up on the TV show Shameless. Two years later, the group are all set to release their new record Monte Vista.
All of the band members are individually talented musically, but, upon listening to the album, two performances jump out the most: lead singer Ben Ringel’s A+ vocal stylings and Vincent Williams’s consistently hard-hitting and energetic drumming. The former is especially impressive, as, throughout Monte Vista’s ten tracks, Ringel covers all ends of the vocal spectrum from delicate falsetto all the way to raspy screaming.
There are examples of musical diversity from every era scattered throughout this record. The opening track, “California,” begins with a flourish of keyboards and a four-on-the-floor bass drum groove reminiscent of 1980s dance-pop, before the guitars enter the mix to create an almost Billy Idol-type sound. After that comes the driving and foot-stomping “Sun God,” which has more of a garage rock feel. Following that comes “Burning Wheels,” which is a dead ringer of early 2000s indie groups such as the White Stripes and the early output of The Strokes. Another highlight is the laid-back jam “Crows.” However, the album’s shining jewel is the soaring “Spaceman.” On it, Ringel’s vocals are drenched in reverb before the rest of the band launch into a massive chorus reminiscent of David Bowie’s best work.
It’s never an easy task to evolve as a band, but The Delta Saints have done it. What’s most impressive about them is their ability to create a sound that brazenly showcases all their influences for the listener to easily pick out, but one that is also entirely unique to them. Very few bands have been able to pull that off, and kudos to this Nashville-based five-piece for being one of them.