Deeper: Careful!

Genre: Post-Punk Revival
Label: Sub Pop
Release Year: 2023
Listen: Spotify / Apple Music

I suppose we can look at bands like Talking Heads as post-punk. But also Interpol. Though I suppose on this site my anal retentiveness has Interpol and their ilk classified as post-punk revival. You know, because they kind of revived that sound to some extent way after the 1980s. Though I’m not sure those two bands are necessarily playing in the same sandbox. So that’s why you have bands like Deeper, I suppose. When you want a little ‘Heads in your ‘Pol. When you want a mash-up of all the stuff you love about the genre, but need a little less esoteric nonsense on the one end, and a little more weirdness on the other end of the scale.

You can tell this band isn’t fucking around. You know, because they have an exclamation point in the title of their album. Careful! It says a lot without saying much. But, really, I’m not certain it exactly matches the band’s musical output all that well. It feels more like something Liars — despite their titles honestly not resembling this at all — might do. Or like some spazzy Swedish band or other. But not our friends, who clearly derive their taste from bands like The Cure and probably Echo & the Bunnymen (as is obvious by tracks like “Bite”), while trying to inject a little more modern variable attitude on the front end. Because, of course, the down side of some post-punk is its tendency to get trapped in swirling repetition. It can get bogged down in darkness or smelling its own sounds just a little too much. But Deeper keep it a little lighter on this record than their ancient brethren, borrowing from some more recent post-punk revivalist talk-singers. All of whom are 100% more British than this Chicago band.

And, yes, if someone put this album on and told you it was from the 80s, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye. There’s one song called “Fame,” for instance, which sounds like one of those old Police songs that probably wasn’t written by Sting. It’s a bit of a dalliance, but so is the next song, “Everynight,” which sounds like a Cars tune on acid. These are all pretty incredible touchstones for us Gen Xers, but if you come into this expecting idol worship, their sound is a little too left of center to be what amounts to a clever interpolation band. There is a bit of experimentation in their music that does kind of zag in a way you don’t expect. Which is refreshing. It’s an interesting listen, but also a very specific one. I have a feeling it’ll appeal to people who enjoy something a little familiar run through the oddball machine. But might be a little too precious for the rock ‘n’ roll purist in your life.