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Album review: Delphic - 'Acolyte' (Polydor)

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Album review: Delphic – ‘Acolyte’ (Polydor)

The road to hell is lined with the burnt-out husks of groups who tried to fuse rock and dance. This alchemist’s quest has thrown up some atrocities over the last 20-odd years – older readers will shake their heads sorrowfully when the name of [a]Jesus Jones[/a] is mentioned, and none but the most mentally impaired will want to rush to the defence of [a]Hadouken![/a]. The main problem has been an inability of certain bands to see going dance as anything more complex than whacking a massive breakbeat and a fat acid bassline on to a guitar track. The bottom line is this: rock groups who treat house music as a wacky cousin are always destined to fumble the ball when they attempt to “go dance”. So perhaps it’s inevitable that historically some of the most satisfying experiments in this field have come from the other side of the tracks, as it were; from Underworld incorporating Karl Hyde’s Dylan-esque lyrics and fluid acid guitar to [a]The Chemical Brothers[/a]’ obvious debt to John Bonham. Taking close note of this have been Delphic, who have avoided all the hallmarks of a cheesy crossover album and produced a cohesive and impressive debut. [b]‘Doubt’[/b] is one of many highlights applying the light touch of [a]Underworld[/a] circa 1996 to the kind of chiming New Order guitar work that wouldn’t be out of place on [b]‘Technique’[/b], and the track [b]‘Halcyon’[/b] pays obvious homage to rave pioneers [a]Orbital[/a]. While there are a couple of tracks here that are close to filler, Delphic have proved that they are adept at This Kind Of Thing, which is cause for celebration alone.

[b]John Doran[/b]

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Click here to get your copy of Delphic’s ‘Acolyte’ from the Rough Trade shop.