Rock & roll has gotten too clean, too nice, and The Deacons are ready to bring back the dirty distortion and mountainous shake that clung to the bones of bands like Led Zeppelin and Motörhead. Filled with a wrought-iron fury and the talent to tear holes in the earth one riff at a time, the band adopts and adapts countless inspirations into a seamless blend of howling vocal persuasiveness and mutated rock reverence. But the history of The Deacons isn’t just the result of a mindless veneration of classic rock legends—it’s also the sound of friends bonding over a collective musical consciousness.
In the early months of 2015, singer-guitarist Andrew Thomas and drummer Cameron Wilson met at a house party and began discussing their mutual affection for bands like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Thomas had already penned a few songs under The Deacons moniker and was starting to book shows for his one-man band. But with Wilson adding his own distinct movements to the bands sound, The Deacons quickly shifted into a duo. The group became official later that year with the addition of bassist Jake Ison, who was a friend of Andrew’s from college.
Tucked away in Wilson’s basement, they practiced and wrote and refined the ideas and rhythms behind what would come to characterize the sound of The Deacons. Since then, they’ve lived together, performed together, worked in a pizza shop together and been evicted as a group. With these communal experiences comes a connected musical outlook, one that allows the band to feel their way through the music rather than attempting to overanalyze and exhaust its mesmerizing power.
Built around this core dynamic, The Deacons express a tangible rock catharsis, the kind of swaggering, deliberate strut that few bands manage to acknowledge and fewer still manage to successfully explore. Thomas, Wilson and Ison evoke the raw, undiluted emotion that spilled out from the ‘60s and ‘70s in unrelenting waves and wrangle these riotous musings into an oblique rock & roll perspective.
The Deacons self-released their debut record, “Bildungsroman,” on Jan. 31, 2017 and built its 10 tracks around a collection of dense and serrated classic rock influences. Recorded at The Smoakstack with Paul Moak in less than a week, the band primarily used a live-to-tape method to capture this particularly frenetic and feral noise. Within these cacophonous sounds, however, lies a bleeding pop heart capable of draining your defenses and leaving you visibly shaken.
Visions of classic rock rhythms are bent and folded in on themselves, creating a wiry and malleable narrative that stretches across the length of the record. Embracing the necessity of change and inspiration, The Deacons approach this personal history with adoration and embellishment. They aren’t afraid to wear their rugged hearts on worn-out sleeves while also threatening to unfasten your senses through a series of manic guitar-driven revolutions. Joshua Pickard, 2017