DulceSky = [Joy Division + (U2 – Bono)] x Catherine Wheel
Locals DulceSky pack a “doubleplusgood” punch with these nine songs. Although they’ve played the Dark Arts Festival and the packaging is reminiscent of ‘90s industrial, this is straightforward indie rock with a dark, intelligent, politicized edge. Oliver Valenzuela’s guitars occasionally recall early U2, but his vocals are far darker, and at times almost Joy Division-morose. Moreover, this isn’t just a collection of songs, but an exploration of and meditation on the imperial impulse in the post-colonial world, perhaps fueled by Oliver and his bother Daniel’s journey from Chile to the US, or maybe just too many readings of 1984. With heavy samples and layered keyboards by Mitchell Razon and Brett Kocherhans, “Shades of an Empire” is the standout track, along with the gorgeous “Ministry of Truth” and the militant tattoo that is “The Gathering Darkness.” While the actual politics of this sad, beautiful album are opaque, it is a perfect soundtrack for our brave, scared, disordered new world.