St Deluxe

Born into Flame

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St Deluxe burst onto the Scottish rock scene in 2010 with a self-titled debut album that showcased their knack for melodic, fuzzed-out guitar rock. Displaying the talents of guitarist/vocalist Jamie Cameron, guitarist Martin Kirwan, drummer Stuart Kidd, and bassist Brian McEwan, the band drew favorable, and quite deserving, comparisons to such longstanding touchstones of the genre as Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. The group's 2012 sophomore effort, Born into Flame, picks up where their debut left off, with even more catchy and anthemic tracks. Many of the songs on Born into Flame, including the rousing title track, have a cinematic quality, as if each song were the theme to its own film. This idea is reinforced by the wildly infectious and bug-eyed "Evil Dead," which finds Cameron gleefully sneering "Holding out this winter/Watching The Evil Dead/Tripping on all of your blood and slime." It's a joyful, gory, fist-pumping slacker call to arms that finds the band drawing inspiration from the gonzo zombie energy of director Sam Raimi's low-budget horror classic. The track is just one of a handful of revelatory earworms on the album, including the monolithic album opener "After the Fire," the sludgy Rolling Stones-esque "Gift You Gave," and the messy, menacing hardcore punk-influenced shouter "Your Blood." Which isn't to say that St Deluxe don't have a romantic side. On the contrary, the epic slow-burn ballad "I Know How You Feel" is an emotionally devastating confession of love and failure set against distorted contrail guitar lines. Kirwan sings "I know how you feel, but I don't want you to feel" and "Patterns that I can't change are just patterns that I can't change/Over and over and over again." It's an absolutely gorgeous, poignant song that, as with all of Born into Flame, keeps you listening, over and over and over again.

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