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The Deadly Syndrome

Who? College chums Jesse Hoy (drums/keys), Will Etling (guitar), Chris Richard (vocals), and Mike Hughes (keys/drums) decided to make a unanimous move to California following their university studies in 2006. Although they each relocated for different reasons, the Deadly Syndrome made a quick name for themselves in the L.A. indie rock scene, which also landed the pop quartet a deal with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label. Their debut long-player, The Ortolan, drops this week.

What’s the Deal? Songs on , firmly rooted in California pop rock, recall everything from the no-frill frustration-laden furor of early Modest Mouse, plus the bell-and-whistle charm of Brits like the Boy Least Likely To, with graces of grand Arcade Fire-esque jangle a la Funeral. Chris Richard’s far-soaring tenor shines over the pleasant piano-colored paranoia of “I Hope I Become a Ghost,” and his comrades drive dynamic tracks like “Heart” and “Creature, Creature” with boastful builds of piano and guitar. When the left coast sunshine simmers, the low-key introspection of “Wolves in the Garden” and “Friends Who Don’t Go Out at Night” provide a suitable and satisfactory soundtrack for staying in. With California choice melodies and chorale, the Deadly Syndrome delivers an infectious passion and poise that’s simply to die for.

Fun Fact: The working title of their debut album The Ortolan was originally the esoteric and quizzical “Am I a Boy? Am I Delicious?” based on a piece of chalk art drawn by band member Mike Hughes on his bedroom wall.

Now Hear This:
The Deadly Syndrome – “Eucalyptus” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
The Deadly Syndrome at MySpace

Talk: Is the Deadly Syndrome’s sun-kissed kind of rock totally dead on?

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