Album Review – Deeper – Careful!

5/5

From the very jump, Deeper’s latest album calls out a seemingly indeterminate advisory to the world-Careful! A vague message to whomever may lend their attention, the title of Deeper’s newest album is more than it seems, serving as a catch all for what’s at the core of the record-an admirable attention to detail and an abundance of passion. On Careful! the Chicago band makes thoughtful considerations, fine tuning their composition and production to deliver a more polished and intriguing version of their already mesmerizing sound.

The opening track and second single off of the album, “Build a Bridge,” immediately reveals what the album sets out to do. With production that perfectly balances all musical elements, and bouts of sonic flare in the ping-ponging guitar parts, the track expands the band’s sound while maintaining the integral fibers of its being. Where on previous releases lead singer Nic Gohl’s vocals hid under reverb and tucked itself in with the other instruments, here they’re given new breath as they take a step in front of the rest of the band for heightened clarity. 

“It’s the right kind of rhythm” Gohl sings on the chorus with a catchiness that can be heard on following tracks such as “Sub,” where the band lean into the realm of pop. Careful! is undeniably a post-punk record, alongside the rest of Deeper’s discography, yet the album not only ventures into the genre of pop, but also sprinkles in influences of dance, industrial, and new wave.

On “Tele,” the band shine a spotlight on an industrial synth track, reminiscent of Depeche Mode, that when met with the smooth, lurching bass line, creates a danceable groove. The album exhibits it’s new wave influence on the following track, “Bite” as well, with a punchy bass line, ambient and spacey guitars, and baritone vocals with the ability to quickly bounce up to higher octaves, all of which present heavy influence from The Cure. 

On this album, the band are taking obvious strides towards new territories, pushing the boundaries of what their sound is, while also staying true to the elements that make it their own. They present a version of themselves that is experimental, yet thoughtful and clearly methodical in design. Honed into a specific concept and style, the album comes together as a fully developed thought, yet still possesses the meat and muscle to give it its edge and intensity.

The lyrical contents comes as an afterthought when up against what’s at play sonically, yet the band’s attention to detail once again shines through with repeated imagery and phrases that resonate with the overarching theme. Looking beyond the title of the album, the lyrics themselves serve as an advisory, telling listeners to look out for themselves and the ones they love. What makes the lyrics all the more impressive, is their ability to naturally intertwine with the rest of the music, as if they are an instrument themselves.

Careful! Is a testament to Deeper’s ability to create a record that strikes a perfect balance between risky and considerate, between thought provoking and catchy, between the sound they have paved for themselves and the expansive possibilities that stretch out before it. In essence, the album offers up the most invigorating and impressive music from the band to date.

Listen to the album here, and find more information on tour dates and updates from the band on their website.

Photo courtesy of Sub Pop Records

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