Deleter – Zweite Komposition – EP Review

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A band called Deleter just has to be a post-punk band, right? No doubt. Their name sounds like a Siouxsie and the Banshees b-side. In fact, this Minneapolis quartet sound more like they came up with Joy Division in Salford rather than out of the same city that spawned Prince and The Replacements. Despite this, they are worthy of their moniker. Like Joy Division, their music is minimal and lean, all excess deleted. The fat has been stripped from this trained yet dichotomously savage beast and all that remains is taut muscle and protein. Their latest EP Zweite Komposition is imbued with tension from the very first beat. Less aggressive and unhinged than the band’s preceding EPs, it is nonetheless an intimidating and imposing listen.

Deleter’s fourth release in the last eighteen months after two EPs and a collection of singles, begins on a relatively upbeat note with “Stupid and Small”. A looping, hypnotic guitar riff introduces a mid tempo track that is taut and yet dreamy, somewhat like a more British sounding version of latter day Sonic Youth. The claustrophobic nature of Deleter’s music is alive and well here, and remains throughout the EP.

Waterproof, driving drums propel a simple synth line and plucked echoed guitar line throughout “Secret Seas”; a more urgent proposition than its immediate predecessor. Knol Tate (singer/guitarist) half whispers to/half commands the listener as he spouts the song’s oppressive lyrics: “Gasping for air, no reason to be there. Outlasting the disease, you are drowning.” Cheery stuff. The most immediate track on the EP, it is also a high water mark in the band’s short career.

“Before I Go” is at first less sonically aggressive, and more dirge-like than “Secret Seas”. This does not nullify the track’s impact. Off kilter minor chords, and Tate’s disturbed delivery uncover a song that is unnerving, and yet tuneful and memorable. In it’s short running time the track builds to a powerful slow burning crescendo.

Oddly, the most obvious touching point for closing track “Beaten By Legalese” is Washington, DC post-hardcore DIY quartet Fugazi. The call and response of “Take it away” during the refrain calls to mind the vocal interplay between Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, while the track itself has, at times, a near ska beat with stabs of guitar reminiscent of Fugazi circa 2001’s The Argument. The track doesn’t rely on imitation though, with the band stamping their own indelible mark on proceedings.

These guys may be the best new(ish) band I’ve heard this year since Detroit’s Protomartyr. Keep an eye open for their debut album, slated for release sometime next year, apparently they’ve already written it. In the meantime, listen and enjoy. There’s no doubt that you will.

Zweite Komposition is out December 19th via Landski Records digitally and 25 Diamonds on limited edition cassette.