Delta Mainline – Oh! Enlightened
The density of this debut album from Edinburgh's Delta Mainline is so great that it seems to hang heavy in the air long after the final track has ended. This is not a lean record. The weight of the instrumentation in songs such as The Church Is Up For Sale is almost impenetrable, hardly surprising given that it's the product of a seven-strong band.
Delta Mainline are at their best when they wear their J Spaceman influences lightly, but still maintain their own heavy spirit, such as on the excellent Florentine Regime. When things slow down, like on Home To You, they sound less psychedelic and more Simple Minds. But there's no denying this is a bold, ambitious and at times genuinely impressive first album. Songwriter and vocalist David McLachlan has aimed high, and although he's perhaps not quite reached the level he craves, Oh! Enlightened certainly bodes well for the future. [Chris McCall]