Rocco DeLuca & The Burden
I Trust You to Kill Me
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2007, Volume 14, #4
Written by Melissa Stroh
We all watched the recently aired VH-1 special during which Kiefer Sutherland, giddy as a school girl ó a chain-smoking school girl, at that ó implored the world to embrace his latest discovery. And, we all wondered what all the excitement was about. Then, the melodious voice of Rocco DeLuca drifted into our ears, and suddenly, it all made sense. Ok, so maybe it wasnít that dramatic, but it was apparent that Sutherland had found a diamond in the rough and that he was hellbent on making sure everyone else could see it, too.
At first glance, Rocco DeLuca & The Burdenís debut I Trust You to Kill Me appears to be nothing more than a collection of monosyllabically titled and utterly overproduced songs on which DeLuca tries a little too hard to impress his fans. It seems as if DeLuca pulled out all the stops, just in case there isnít another album in the works. Each cut is filled to the brim with a myriad of peculiar sounds and overly analyzed lyrics, and each features DeLuca crooning in too zealous a fashion.
The pivotal point of I Trust You to Kill Me occurs early in the set. During Gift, DeLuca slurs his nursery rhyme lyrics over a lethargic guitar line while the sound of rattling chains lurks in the background. The result is an absolute mess. Dope showcases the other side of DeLucaís vocal style. Here, he sings in a lower register, and he embraces an edgier sound as a fast-paced banjo slides in beneath his voice. This is one of the most interesting segments of the album because, within the span of two simple tracks, the bandís strengths and its weaknesses are put on display.
The middle of I Trust You to Kill Me speeds up considerably. At two to three minutes a piece, its songs are brief, and the luscious, warm arrangements employed by the ensemble suitably surround DeLucaís sappy one-liners. The rest of the affair mixes the setís Gift-like failures with its Dope-like successes. Like a bad relationship, itís easy to fall in love with DeLucaís voice and his musical leaps of faith one minute and to hate him the next for going too far and landing in a muddy puddle of regrets.
In other words, I Trust You to Kill Me is an emotional roller coaster ride. While it can be overwhelming, at times, the journey is well worth it in the end. Rocco DeLuca & The Burden has concocted a fine album as long as one is willing to accept the ups along with the downs.
Of Further Interest...
I Trust You to Kill Me is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box