Album review: ‘Delta Spirit’

With its latest full-length album released March 13, San Diego’s Delta Spirit attempts to shake off its reputation as an Americana/folk rock band and achieve recognition for its new modern indie rock sound.

But the self-titled release is only a mediocre follow-up to 2010’s “History From Below,” the majority of its songs sounding forced and unnatural.

While Delta Spirit transitioned gracefully from its indie folk debut in 2008 to its more aggressive sophomore release in 2010, the jump to its newest album is a stretch and may require several listens and an open mind from fans.

The band implements more echoing lead guitar riffs, immediately noticeable in the new album’s first track, “Empty House.” This song addresses the feelings of insignificance one man may feel in an overwhelmingly massive universe, as singer Matthew Vasquez sings, “How could one little speck make a difference to the rest? When it doesn’t, no one cares except me.”

Although the album is not spectacular, it is not without its gems either. Songs “California,” “Into The Mind” and “Money Saves” are enjoyable listens and compensate, to a degree, for the other eight substandard songs.

Delta Spirit’s experimentation with different sounds and techniques is most obvious in songs “Tear It Up” and “Tellin’ the Mind,” which both feature strange intro percussion and sweeping guitars.

“Home,” the album’s fifth track, is a folky throwback to the band’s two previous full-lengths.