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Del Judas Looks “Through the Glass”

del judas

To borrow a dichotomy from the quiz-makers at Clickhole: there’s a lot of music out there which sounds like it’s made by bad boys, but not as many songs feel like they could have been by the “One Bad Man.” At the risk of ruining a good joke by explaining it, bad boys are run-of-the-mill jerks who skate by on juvenile charm while the One Bad Man represents a deeper vein of ominous menace. To use a less humorous example, you can see this difference play out in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Bobby Briggs, the drug-dealing, wisecracking football player, is a bad boy. Serial Killer BOB, the interdimensional demon who feeds on human suffering, is the One Bad Man.

I won’t speculate as to whether Del Judas, a.k.a. Charlie Schmid, is either a bad boy or One Bad Man. The company he keeps as the drummer of Vaura, who we at Invisible Oranges happen to like quite a bit, certainly suggests that he’s a stand-up dude. However, the song “Through the Glass” from his upcoming record Deity is a menacing country tune that sounds much more BOB than Bobby Briggs.

Schmid, who has also drummed with Tombs, recorded the entirety of “Through The Glass” himself. The results are appropriately intimate, Schmid’s voice is rendered in a Chris Isaak-like croon, and the production has a hushed quality you might expect from someone making a record in a Brooklyn apartment surrounded by neighbors. By pulling you in close to his voice, Schmid also pulls you close to the darkness that lurks behind his words.

“Through The Glass,” which also features vocals from Azar Swan’s Zohra Atash, is a slow, nocturnal drive down the dark side of memory lane. While electric guitars swoon and fade like passing lights on the side of the highway, Schmid sings about seeking pleasure in the present to escape the pain of his past. “I miss those better days,” he sings in harmony with Atash. “I was a better man in a better place.”

There’s a long tradition in this kind of songwriting to sing confessionally about past mistakes, but Schmid flips the formula. Time has corrupted him, made him worse instead of wiser.

Deity will be released by Primal Architecture on July 13th. Del Judas will celebrate this release with a concert at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus.

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