Sound — 9
The Depreciation Guild were a shoegaze band that incorporated some chiptune elements via some 8-bit leads. They have a very surreal, pleasing sound, and with their last album, "Spirit Youth", they aimed to broaden their sound even more by incorporating some pop hooks, making the music a lot more lifting. The three piece band features two guitarists and a drummer, so the sound has a more light and almost fluffy feel to it, due to the lack of a bassist. The two guitarists work together very well, chugging out very satisfying backing chords and beautiful shoegaze leads. The drums are very simple orientated, and are a little bit louder in the mix than one would expect. The album kicks off with a quick volume swell and a nice 8-bit lead into the song "My Chariot". From there on, the band portrays a very happy, somewhat romantic portrait, complete with some bittersweet words to go along with it. Right after that comes the powerful "Crucify You", and then the band settles into a more slower approach for the rest of the album. After that, you can expect a fluttering shoegaze sound with enchanting vocals and sweet guitar sounds. Don't let the initial surge of energy tease you, this album is mainly filled with incredibly laid-back songs that are uplifting and precious. The band is strong whether the energy amount is being toned down or not, but I personally would have liked to see another more powerful song in the beginning of the album. Track Listing: 01. My Chariot 02. Crucify You 03. Blue Lily 04. Dream About Me 05. November 06. Trace 07. A Key Turns 08. Spirit Youth 09. Through the Snow 10. White Moth Music videos were produced for "My Chariot", "Dream About Me", and "Blue Lily". They are well produced and compliment the music nicely.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are sweet and romantic, and are delivered in an appropriate manner. The singer has a very gentle voice that he uses to kind of envelop the listener. The presentation and nature of the lyrics coupled with the upbeat music gives off a big pop vibe as well, especially during the chorus of "Crucify You": "Sometimes I can't control the things I do But you know I only want the best for you And if I should find that you could ever stray I would crucify you" That part of the song is timed nicely, the band really sinks together, some shoegaze guitar lead erupts from the sound and this catchy set of lyrics is delivered. Over and over again, the band has shown how well they can link up together, like at the end of "My Chariot": "And the way you light up is digital Make you home I will pick you up, I'm your chariot Take you home" That section features a bit more work from the vocalist's approach, as there is a more intricate melody for the words there, and it really helps the song all amount to such a great ending as that one. As the album relaxes into it's more chilled out part, the lyrics turn a little mysterious, shown in "A Key Turns": "Down to the place you've been before There is more Slide like a spirit through the leaves Do you believe There is truth to what you've seen?" Here the lyrics start to get a little bit more vague, but the presentation of them is still really well pulled off. The vocals blend in with the overall sound just as well as an actual instrument would have.
Overall Impression — 9
"Spirit Youth" is a phenomenal album put out by The Depreciation Guild in their dying moments as a band. The album really adds more fuel to the well burning poppy-shoegaze fire, throwing in some chiptune elements for good measure as well. This album is definitely worth checking out for people interested in some shoegaze that is a little bit different than what has become the norm in the genre.