Album Reviews

Delco Detention: ‘From the Basement’ Album Review

There’s a lot to love about Delco Detention. On the surface, there’s the simple charm factor. Delco Detention is a father-son duo with a twist: the son is a 10-year-old guitarist obsessed with bands like Clutch, King Buffalo, and All Them Witches. 

My kind of kid. 

But the story of Delco Detention gets even more interesting. Late last year, Delco Detention grabbed headlines when their relentless Clutch covers posted to Twitter caught the attention of Clutch frontman Neil Fallon—and Neil Fallon offered to collaborate with them. 

Fallon ultimately agreed to offer vocals to a song written by Delco Detention’s young guitarist Tyler Pomerantz, who was only 9 years old at the time!

The collaboration quickly made its rounds on websites like Loudwire, Metal Sucks, Guitar World, and (of course) Monster Riff.

The Delco Detention train could have stopped there, but Tyler and his drumming father (Adam) decided to ride that press wave as far as they could. And now they have a stunning new album written largely by Tyler Pomerantz and jam-packed with guest appearances. From the Basement is available on September 9, 2021!

Listen to our recent interview with Adam and Tyler Pomerantz of Delco Detention!

About Delco Detention

Delco Detention hails from Delaware County (frequently referred to as “Delco” by locals) outside of Philadelphia, and is primarily made of two musicians:

  • Tyler Pomerantz – Guitar, Bass
  • Adam Pomerantz – Drums

While Tyler started off on drums as a toddler, he eventually migrated to the bass guitar. But when Adam took Tyler to his first Clutch concert, Tyler saw guitarist Tim Sult rocking the wah pedal, and Tyler knew then and there that he wanted to become a guitarist. He’s been shredding ever since. 

For From the Basement, Delco Detention collaborated with a ton of people from some of the scenes coolest bands, including:

  • Clutch 
  • Fu Manchu 
  • Blind Melon
  • Hippie Death Cult
  • Mississippi Bones
  • Earthless 
  • Lionize
  • The Age of Truth
  • She Loves Pablo
  • The Mike Dillon Band 
  • Kingsnake
  • Thunderbird Divine
Delco Detention - "From The Basement" Album Cover

From the Basement Album Review

Release Date: September 9, 2021
Tracks: 15
Length: 54:28

Track One: It Came From the Basement (Featuring Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones)

From the Basement begins with a faux radio segment by Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones, a move Mississippi Bones fans might recognize from their 2018 album, Radio Free Conspiracy Theory

As the song finally kicks off with a Tim Sult-inspired guitar riff, Jared Collins proves himself a perfect fit for Delco Detention (both bands are, after all, heavily influenced by Clutch). Collins’ vocal shine especially bright here, with his melodic harmonies overlapping Tyler’s riffs.

For “It Came From the Basement,” Tyler wrote a dark, scary bridge—impressive maturity from a young songwriter. 

Track Two: The Joy of Homeschooling (Featuring Neil Fallon of Clutch)

“The Joy of Homeschooling” is another Clutch-inspired track with some added flair. By the time Neil Fallon appears on vocals, “The Joy of Homeschooling” sounds like it would have been lifted directly from Earth Rocker or Blast Tyrant

Fallon’s vocals on “The Joy of Homeschooling” are fun and lighthearted, and Fallon sings about causing a city-wide blackout by cranking up your gear—punctuated by “Shoulda bought a generator!” 

Like “It Came From the Basement,” “The Joy of Homeschooling” highlights one of Tyler’s most impressive songwriting skills: restraint. Although he’s a gifted guitarist, he intentionally pulls away from the spotlight in specific sections to give the vocalist a place to shine. 

Track Three: Across the Water (Featuring Domagoj Šimek of She Loves Pablo and Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless)

On the surface, the combination of members of Earthless and She Loves Pablo seems like it would be an awkward fit. Earthless is a San Diego-based Psychedelic Rock band that specializes in huge, expansive jams, and She Loves Pablo is a Croatian Groove Rock band. But they combine perfectly in “Across the Water,” another fun Rock track written by Tyler. 

By this point, you really start to understand Tyler’s comfort zone as a young songwriter and, perhaps, some of his limitations. Fortunately, Isaiah Mitchell’s presence on the six-string is a welcome addition, and his solo breathes extra life into the third track. 

Track Four: Mascat (Featuring Krissy Allen McPherson and Neal Pomerantz)

From its very first note, “Mascat” immediately establishes itself as the heaviest track on the album so far, a fact that’s further emphasized by Krissy Allen McPherson’s low, strong vocals. Neal Pomerantz (Tyler’s uncle and Adam’s brother) contributes a shredding solo in the second half, adding an extra layer of complexity to the song. 

“Mascat” holds a beautiful tension just underneath the surface, and that makes it an extremely fun song to listen to. 

Track Five: Dirt School (Featuring Ben Jackson and Eddie Brnabic of Hippie Death Cult)

Like “Mascat,” “Dirt School” holds plenty of tension, a fact that’s bolstered by those crying, layered vocals from Ben Jackson. Dark, mysteriously, and undeniably heavy, “Dirt School” is a surprising track on this record—but not at all unwelcomed. 

Editorial note: Ben Jackson recently left Hippie Death Cult. 

Track Six: From the Shadows (Featuring Bob Mavity and Mike Descoteux)

Interestingly, the collaboration for “From the Shadows” was sparked from a Clutch Facebook fan page—where Adam met Bob Mavity and Mike Descoteux. With Descoteux’s heavy bass and Mavity’s confidently chill vocals, “From the Shadows” has a swagger we haven’t seen yet on this album, and the layered vocal delivery in the song’s crescendo ultimately delivers a thrilling conclusion. 

Track Seven: The Action Is Delco (Featuring Bob Balch of Fu Manchu)

“The Action Is Delco” is the perfect riff-driven track for Bob Balch to flex his guitar chops. A purely instrumental track, “The Action Is Delco” moves at a quick pace, making for another fun listen.

Track Eight: The Future of Werewolvery 1 (Featuring Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones and Neal Pomerantz)

If there was a single for From the Basement, “The Future of Werewolvery” would have a strong case for the single treatment. In addition to bringing Delco Detention back to classic rocking out, Jared Collins feels like a natural extension of the band, and everyone is on point. Adam’s drums are frenetic and exciting, Neal Pomerantz is perfectly happy ripping into his guitar solo, and Tyler does what Tyler does best. “The Future of Werewolvery” is a blast. 

Track Nine: All Ages Show (Featuring Nate Bergman of Lionize)

One of the shortest tracks on the album, “All Ages Show” is a fun song about the excitement of an all-ages show. Nathan Bergman loves hitting the high notes in Lionize, and he belts just as hard on “All Ages Show.” Don’t be surprised if you wind up singing this song later in the day—it’s definitely an earworm.

Track Ten: 422 (Featuring Kevin McNamara of The Age of Truth)

“422” initially starts off like an old Pearl Jam or Temple of the Dog song, and it later picks up like an old Pearl Jam or Temple of the Dog Song. This track moves at a quick pace, and if there are any complaints about “422,” it’s in regards to the sometimes awkward transitioning between palm-muted and non-palm-muted power chords. 

Track Eleven: Gods Surround (Featuring Erik Caplan and Adam Scott of Thunderbird Divine)

“Gods Surround” immediately reaches into the heavens with Psychedelic guitars and keys. Dark and brooding, “Gods Surround” shows a little more songwriting maturity, and Erik Caplan and Adam Scott deliver some key contributions to make this a uniquely breathtaking track. 

Track Twelve: Digital Animal (Featuring Bill Jenkins of Kingsnake)

If “Digital Animal” sounds a little different from the rest of the album, it’s because it was mixed by Kingsnake. As a result, some of the clarity from the rest of the album is lost—but not at all in a bad way. Instead, “Digital Animal” simply has more fuzz and a little more of the lo-fi energy of the Stoner Rock scene. That said, “Digital Animal” is still a fun, straightforward rocker. 

Track Thirteen: Behemoth Ship (Featuring Mike Dillon of The Mike Dillon Band)

In a guitar-driven record like From the Basement, “Behemoth Ship” is unique in its reliance on keys. Even more interesting is pairing the keys and heavy, Reggae-infused bass with Mike Dillon’s vocal delivery, which is distorted like Neil Fallon on an old Clutch track from 1995. For what it is, “Behemoth Ship” is a fun little intermission in the second half of the album. 

Track Fourteen: Tones of Detention (Featuring Rogers Stevens of Blind Melon)

“Tones of Detention” is a slower song with some guitar tones we haven’t heard yet. Like “The Action Is Delco,” this is a purely instrumental track, and you might even hear elements of The Bakerton Group.  

Track Fifteen: The Future of Werewolvery 2 (Featuring Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones)

Jared Collins brings his characteristic energy to “The Future of Werewolvery 2,” the follow-up to track 8. “The Future of Werewolvery 2” is an electrifying track with some genuinely fun guitar licks and bass lines—and it’s well-deserving of holding the distinction as the concluding track for From the Basement. Stick around for the last few seconds, and you’ll hear Jared Collins finishing his radio report from the opening track—a move that nicely packages the entire album into a cohesive unit. 

Final Thoughts

Final Score: 8.75

Standout Tracks: “It Came From The Basement,” “The Joy of Homeschooling,” “Mascat,” and “The Future of Werewolvery 1”

Pros/Cons Preface: Let’s preface everything by remembering that the majority of the songwriting for Delco Detention rested on a nine-year-old child (who’s now 10 as of this writing). That one fact immediately disrupts the usual scoring template we use at Monster Riff. Tyler Pomerantz is years ahead of his peers when it comes to songwriting and musicianship, but there are occasional blind spots. Still, From the Basement features guest appearances from some of the best talent in the genre, so do they deserve critical treatment as well? 

We’ve decided to keep in mind that Tyler is still a young buck in our scoring, but we’ll also approach everything as critically as we typically do at Monster Riff. Fortunately, this is a strong album in many ways—regardless of how you analyze it. 

Pros: From the Basement is an incredible debut packed with exciting moments and impressive musicianship. Even if it lacked the star power of legends like Neil Fallon and Bob Balch, this would have been a stunning album from a nine-year-old kid and his dad.

As it stands, that star power only adds to the overall effect, and many of the contributors have remembered that they are, in fact, collaborating with a child. Neil Fallon keeps things light in “The Joy of Homeschooling” by singing about causing a power outage with your amp, Jared Collins sings about a monster from the basement, and Nathan Bergman explains he doesn’t need alcohol at an all-ages show because the sugar rush from two sodas gets him far enough. There’s youthful humor throughout this record, and that makes it a refreshing listen. 

There’s also the musicianship from Tyler and Adam. Even if you added ten years to him, Tyler’s performance would be impressive. As previously mentioned, Tyler’s greatest skill as a musician and performer is restraint—something some musicians spend their entire lives learning. Tyler understands when to stand back from the spotlight to allow singers and other musicians to take the lead, creating a final product that truly shines. 

I’m extremely excited to see what Delco Detention does next. 

Cons: At times, From the Basement feels bloated. At a whopping 15 tracks, this is one album that could easily lose a few songs and get stronger along the way. Songs like “Tones of Detention” and “Behemoth Ship,” for example, lack the hard-driving energy of tracks like “All Ages Show,” and removing such songs from the album could make for a better overall listen.

With so many talented musicians appearing on From the Basement, this album occasionally feels like a variety show. As an example, “It Came From the Basement” is remarkably different from “Dirt School,” “Dirt School” is remarkably different from “Tones of Detention,” and “Tones of Detention” is remarkably different from “Behemoth Ship.”

On future efforts, this problem will likely be ironed out with maturity and experience. Tyler Pomerantz is a young musician excited to explore as many techniques and sonic landscapes as possible, so I imagine we’ll continue to see Delco Detention evolve over the next few years before they settle into their own defined style.

Where To Learn More About Delco Detention

To learn more about Delco Detention, follow them on social media (Facebook or Twitter), subscribe to their YouTube channel, or check them out on Bandcamp.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: