Mark Deutrom makes sludgy noise rock sound pretty on his new album The Blue Bird, and that’s no small feat. The tracks present a very all encompassing listening experience in multiple senses of the phrase. On the one hand, Deutrom plays a striking range of textures that might not be expected since The Blue Bird maintains the presentation of a minimalist and contemplative rock album. In reality, though, the structure of the music keeps the listener guessing and intrigued as the album progresses. At times, should Deutrom have been using different instrumentation or recording methods, the songs he’s playing feel like they could easily have been some of the heaviest grinding sludge metal you’ve heard in awhile.
However, they’re most certainly not. The Blue Bird proceeds carefully, never veering too far off into heaviness while maintaining substantive sonic footing where it does come down. This album feels like it represents a proverbial straight and narrow path. Deutrom presents his various swirling textures in a pattern that flows into itself, letting each element have its place on the stage before falling back into the mixture he’s crafted.
Ultimately, the tracks feel very life based, almost sneaking up on the listener with their relevance. Rather than presenting simply a wisp of acoustics and vocals bent towards becoming an earworm, Deutrom’s music envelops the listener, shining a light on their lives, their future, and the world around them.
At the same time, though, keeping in line with how sonically substantive his work remains, The Blue Bird proves far from just a wistful exploration of what might be. Throughout the work, adding to its intrigue, Deutrom maintains a rip current grabbing at the listener to pull them out to sea — metaphorically speaking.
His work tells a story, but it’s less a straightforward narrative and more a collection of pieces presented by a speaker who knows his way around and then some. This speaker has their hand out for the listener, beckoning them to come along for the journey. Deutrom personally has performed with bands from The Melvins to Sunn O))), but his work trailblazes a fresh path with time honed musical prowess shining through.
Listen below via Bandcamp. The full album releases January 4 via Season of Mist.