By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
If The Strokes are considered a garage-rock band, and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are regularly labeled as a garage-soul collective, then Denton's Delmore Pilcrow must be garage-twang.
Keep an Eye, the Denton quartet's second album, is a rambunctious affair that's also an effectively non-countrified honky-tonk record. Sure, the key component that provides the album with its neon-lit, sawdust-covered texture is the pedal steel. But, within the tunes here, that instrument performs more as the lead instrument than even the electric guitar does. In place of the willowy, weepy strums that the steel generally sends skyward in many tear-inducing country songs, Taylor Sims tears furiously into the strings and converts the sleepy steel into an all-out attack weapon in Delmore Pilcrow's assault on the mopey and mundane.
Chris Garver's quivering vocals aren't likely going to win him a scholarship to the Juilliard School, but that's no matter, either. He firmly grasps the notion that his voice is a part of a larger landscape and not a self-portrait. His laid-back delivery plays a key role in the manner in which many of his quirky and deceptively irreverent lyrics subtly shock.
The vast majority of this album is fully plugged-in and reckless, with a few numbers that tap on the brakes mixed in. "Keep an Eye for Me," for example, exposes a raw and unvarnished quality that keeps the schmaltz out of the waltz. And, with only one acoustic-tinged track at the end of the album, Delmore Pilcrow teases with hints of sonic diversity without fully submitting to a quieter, more serene version of itself.
Delmore Pilcrow's brand of rock will appeal to all types of wearers of tight-fitting jeans—whether they be Wranglers or they of the skinny variety.