The Depreciation Guild, Spirit Youth

The Depreciation Guild, Spirit Youth

Few things are as constant as America’s need for cultural nostalgia. We Americans collectively loved the flower power revival of the mid-1990s  and the recent movie remakes of classic 1980s cartoons. In fact, even our environmental disasters are rehashed 1980s tragedies (Ixtoc I, anyone?).

Strangely enough, music, with all its creative potential, often relies on nostalgia to generate interest. I mean, did we really need New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys to reunite ? No, but we love the good old days.  So we shouldn’t be surprised when bands like Brooklyn’s The Depreciation Guild pop up. Will this be a welcome trip down memory lane, or are they unearthing a part of history that deserved to stay buried?

Before joining indie-pop sensations The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, drummer Kurt Feldman and tour guitarist Christoph Hochheim created more sentimental music. It’s the sound of a distorted, reverb -heavy guitar wall. It’s gossamer vocals that are drowned out by synthesizers. It’s the quintessential snare-popping electronic drum kit.  Make no mistake; from opening track “My Chariot” to final song “White Moth,” Spirit Youth is a celebration in shoegaze.

A beautiful thing happens along the way, however. Rather than churn out B-sides from Treasure, The Depreciation Guild point to a lighter side of the all-too-serious shoegaze sound. Sure, there are great “classic” tracks like “Dream About Me,” with its drum track straight off of Loveless that encourages a non-confrontational lifestyle, but it’s what’s different that makes Spirit Youth so good.

Gems like “Crucify You” and “Through the Snow” cut through the noise and add an appropriate Cure-esque alternative rock break into Spirit Youth. What you ‘re left with isn’t a tribute album or some stamped-out duplication. Spirit Youth achieves what all  nostalgia should do: it takes you back to a better place.

Feature photo by Josh Eustis.

(Kanine Records -- 204 Powers Street, Brooklyn, NY. 11211; http://kaninerecords.com; The Depreciation Guild -- http://www.thedepreciationguild.com/)

Review by . Review posted Monday, June 28th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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