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Denali | Instinct | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Denali

The Instinct (Jade Tree)
by TimDen

A classic case of "all the right ingredients used in the wrong recipe," Denali have always created boring, lifeless, meandering songs out of seemingly perfect elements. Driving staccato drums? Check. Slithering bass lines? Check. Bluetip guitar licks? Check. Pristine Rhodes? Check. Some appropriate uses of samplers and atmospheric keys? Check. Vocalist who can belt it out on key? Check. So why the hell can't these guys write better songs? Admittedly, The Instinct is much better than the self-titled debut, but it still tips its hat toward style more than substance. Keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Maura Davis has a classically-trained voice. Yes, we get it. Why doesn't she sing more than five notes then? Why does she constantly push her melodies into the same register, never giving her muse a run for its money by venturing into non-hollering territory? Alright, "Surface" is as good as any Engine Down song, but name another instance where the band aren't occupying themselves with "cold seduction" and "lush funereal sparseness" instead of better melodies? Seems to me someone wants to be Portishead and Kate Bush but didn't bother with songwriting class!
(2310 Kennwynn Rd. Wilmington, DE 19810)

 


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