the depreciation guild spirit youth
  • FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2010

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Depreciation Guild takes the Nintendo nuance of bands like Anamanaguchi and tones it down it with the shoegaze of bands like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. The latter makes sense, POBPAH is a band that shares members with DG. The funny thing is that DG, in their current incarnation, sound very similar to their sister band. And even though they are technically the older brother, they kind of get treated more like a side project than an early incarnation. Despite In Her Gentle Jaws (the DG debut) predating Pains in order of formation, the latter is much more well known on the strip. Either way, fans of the eighties soaked keyboard lines and Phil Colin's worthy riff effects of Pains Of Being Pure At Heart will feel right at home cozying up to Depreciation Guild and their 8-bit love songs.

Spirit Youth is an advancement in the band's sound, no doubt about that, the evidence is pretty much right up front. Sound-wise their debut was a bit more grainy and Famicom forward... focusing more on the marriage of blips and distorted fender amps than writing hooks or even paying attention to lyrics. This time around they stick to the sappy emotions, but communicate them a little more on the understandable side. Chalk it up to the liner notes, which communicate a certain advancement in their own right. First off, production values, i.e. a bit more money to play with from the label that reissued Jaws with a similar tune-up. This time they pass on self-production for a producer, Telefon Tel Aviv's Joshua Eustis. Also new to the formula is a live drummer, guitarist Christoph Hochheim's twin brother Anton.

All of these factors seem promising but actually seem to detract from all the grit that made Depreciation Guild stand out in the first place. However, the hooks sit solidly on top of their pop foundation for a more even tempered, easier to read sophomore record. It just makes more sense for a band attached to a more popular act famed for just being fun all the time. It may not play as hard, but sometimes the best 8-bit adventures are the ones with more replay value... and less head scratching. -joe puglisi

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MP3: "My Chariot" (Spirit Youth)
The Depreciation Guild on Myspace

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