Former Wild Pack of Canaries frontman Rudy De Anda touches on a variety of styles on his first full-length solo album, Delay, Cadaver of a Day. The music of Rudy’s former band was often characterized as psych-prog, and while that style is definitely present here, the song’s on this collection branch out a bit, delving into summery surf rock, alt-pop, and even atmospheric jazz. Throughout this eight song set, De Anda proves he’s more than capable of adapting to a variety of genres while maintaining his signature guitar sound.
Delay’s first track, “Hunger Cloud”, puts De Anda’s shimmering lead guitar up front. The song is an appropriately upbeat, breezy pop moment that serves as an ideal intro to the record. The rollicking instrumental “Tibetan Trampoline Enthusiast” follows, and although it’s under two minutes in length, the frantic synthesizer and guitar workout makes for a nice palate cleanser before the album’s middle section where two of De Anda’s longest songs reside.
Delay’s most memorable moment is realized with “House of Construction”, a track that has De Anda pleasantly following his lead guitar note for note, singing, “all of my life I’ve been searching for this moment.” The track plays with rhythm throughout, periodically shifting into stop/start breaks so it never feels as long as it is. De Anda’s vocals are fine throughout Delay, but they definitely take a back seat to his excellent guitar playing. Fortunately, De Anda knows how to marry both of these critical pieces in order to make these songs distinctly his.
The record’s penultimate track, “Ailanthus”, is a bit of a departure from the rest of the songs on Delay. Opening with what sounds like warped, fuzzy guitar played in reverse, the six-and-a-half-minute song quickly finds dual lead guitar parts intermingling, alternating with Rudy’s vocals. Halfway in, the track’s psychedelic first half ends, breaking into a bass and percussion groove that nicely sets the stage for some fine lead guitar work.
Delay, Cadaver of a Day concludes with “Won’t Be Around Anymore”. The song opens with a happy, marching organ and a lightly picked guitar. With lines like, “maybe I just want I’d like, I wish I could I would” De Anda’s lyrics are often playful, proving they’re not there to be dissected, they are there to have fun singing along with. Although the record’s title and cover art may at first glance suggest otherwise, Delay, Cadaver of a Day is a celebration of life and a solid summer soundtrack.