Band Name: E Deubner
Album Name: The Wasted Creator
Best Element: Unique take on rock music.
Genre: Slow, heavy indie-rock
Label Name: N/a
When I picked up E. Deubner’s [u]The Wasted Creator[/u], I was expecting something acoustic or electronic, as is the case with most solo projects these days. Thus, I was pretty shocked to hear an album full of caustic, biting, slowed-down rock. There are even shades of industrial on this album. Needless to say, this is not your normal solo project.
Neither is it a normal rock album. What E. Deubner lacks in tempo he makes up for in sheer aggression (the hugely distorted guitar chomp of “The Stapler Manger” and “Greater Cause”) and unpredictable songwriting (the nearly alt-country twang of “Inevitability Be Damned” and the industrial thud of “Everything Gets Forgotten”).
The sheer aggression is an underlying force throughout this album- although this is by no means a metal album, there is an ominous undertone that comes from the presence of Deubner’s heavily distorted guitar. This is only counteracted by the frequent contribution of warbly, fragile keys- the antithesis to the menacing growl of the guitar. The vocals here are also often manifested as a distorted snarl (“My Past is Due”), only enhancing the discomforting mood. When the distortion is dropped off the vocals, the voice turns out to be a weary, off-kilter voice that fits very well against the menacing, ominous background.
Ominous is a good way to describe the songwriting of E. Deubner- throughout this entire album, a generally foreboding feeling abounds. His songs are not conventional, which does lead to some songs that never quite sit well with the listener [“Inspiration’s a Bitch (When You Don’t Have a Pen)”], but there are some brilliant songs here.
“Inevitability Be Damned”, while not the best example of Deubner’s sound, is my favorite track here. It drops the heavy distortion off the guitar and the vocals and lets Deubner’s songwriting prowess shine through. It’s a very unique track, as the ominous mood is temporarily lifted for a more organic sound.
Although the description so far has made these songs sound quite similar, they’re really quite diverse, which makes picking a ‘best track’ difficult. “My Past is Due” shows his songwriting skill best, but it’s not as hard and dissonant as the excellent “Greater Cause”. The best all-around example of his sound would be “The Stapler Manger”, with its slow build to intensity, but in terms of songwriting, it’s not the best. “The Cotas Loop” is another track that could get votes for best song, as it features a great riff, strong vocals, and several mood changes.
E. Deubner has crafted a highly unique album of distorted, plodding, churning rock. It’s a challenge to listen to this album all the way through, and a challenge to understand what’s going on. But once you’ve gone through it a couple times, the pieces start to fall together, and you’ll probably agree that this album is pretty stellar. But you need an attention span. I hope I hear more of E. Deubner and his unique take on rock music.