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Album review: Deep Sea Arcade – Outlands

We would have been surprised if Deep Sea Arcade’s debut Outlands had come from anywhere else other than the heart of Australia. After years of bedroom experimentation, the band have pieced together their majestic debut, which appears to be perfectly constructed for long road trips through the sticky heat. However the album is far from claustrophobic, instead consisting of chilled jams building to euphoric highs. Deep Sea Arcade work bright guitars into shadowy textures, and this peculiar juxtaposition leads to extremely pleasurable listening.

Eponymous track ‘Outlands’ morphs clean guitar riffs and syncopated drum beats, creating an impossibly driven and somehow much cooler take on early Stone Roses tunes. After slowly introducing us to their reverb-drenched surf rock sound, the pace picks up and tracks like ‘Girls’ leave me wondering that when bands such as Tame Impala are meeting such critical acclaim, why aren’t Deep Sea Arcade following close behind? I like to think the two should be out having legendary beach parties together.

Early single ‘Don’t Be Sorry’ sounds as good as it was upon its first release a few years ago. Despite the amount of time spent writing songs on the album, there is an almost unnerving sense of cohesion. This record definitely pin-points a moment in time where bands aren’t afraid to mix vintage elements and play around with numerous influences, and this casts a promising light on the future of guitar music.

Whatever’s going on down under, more people should be listening to Outlands as it is unquestionably one of the most promising experimental guitar albums of the year. There’s nothing more inviting than jangly guitars and dreamy organ sounds, and Deep Sea Arcade weave the two together with confidence.

-Alice Simkins

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