The Delta 72 000 (Touch & Go)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

The Delta 72

000 (Touch & Go)

Like Samir, the South Asian immigrant with the unpronounceable last name in Mike Judge's Office Space, the Delta 72 is "back up on that ass." That's good news, because after '97's disappointing, discombobulated Soul of a New Machine, the departure of fetching brunette keymistress Sarah Stolfa, and a flat turn opening for the Donnas at Emo's last fall, it looked for all the world like these Philly Boyz II Men had come to the end of the road. But counting back down to 000, the foursome has rediscovered that old-time religion. Starting at the Stonesy "Are You Ready?" and its "Gimme Shelter" background vox of Syreeta Ford and Dolores Ford-Coleman, 000 is 40 minutes of salacious new-jack soul that challenges Boss Hog's Whiteout for best current indie-blues album around. "3 Day Packet Plan" works some of that "Sympathy for the Devil" jive, "Incident @ 23rd" is more "Miss You," the instrumental "The Doctor Is In!" locks down a flailing groove straight outta Sweet Sweetback's Badassssss Song, and -- gasp! -- there's an acoustic guitar on the mystérieuse album-wrapping chanson, "Sun the Secret Prince." All told, the standout rump-shaker is easily "I Feel Fine," tricking out the Spencer Davis Group and Junior Walker & the All-Stars for a frantic, Hammond-heavy race to the finish line. If the idea of the Young Rascals and Velvet Underground scoring Superfly 2000 at Stax studios sounds like money to you, might I suggest something in a size 000. (Austin Music Hall, Saturday, Mar 18, 10pm)

****

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