SINCERE ENGINEER: Rhombithian: CD

I’ve been listening to this record, or something from it, once a week since it came out and was so stoked to see it in my review pile, especially since I never managed to get to their set at Fest last year (though I will see them with Larry Arms soon). Anyways, what’s the big deal about Deanna Belos songs? They seesaw between way-glaring honesty and not giving a fuck. She even repeats that sentiment in “Overbite,” singing about how she could have been a doctor if she really cared enough. The very next track is about how she’s gonna ignore the advice of her best friends and fuck something up again. But here’s the key to the whole song: “I’m sick of feeling stuck, just because I’m too afraid of falling back.” From a distance one might get the idea that the main theme of these songs is apathy and depression. But they truly come from an ambitious and caring mind who has been through one too many let downs, one too many disappointed benders. Listening to Deanna growl out the words, “I am nothing / I’m just an empty bottle shattering,” is a bit of a heart break and a bit of an inspiration. There’s something about hearing others tackle the darker parts of life that make me dream real big and float back to reality, but with an extra spark and determination. Yeah, these songs are a gut punch and a kick in the ass. I will add that it’s been interesting getting struck by this record while I was still drinking, and then getting to know it again sober. There are some real gems in there for both sides of the coin, if that’s what you’re looking for. –Kayla Greet (Red Scare)