Album Reviews

Delco Detention: ‘What Lies Beneath’ Album Review

If you haven’t heard yet, Delco Detention is the impressive father-son duo with the 10-year-old guitar player and songwriter. Based out of Delaware County, PA, Delco Detention is made up of powerhouse drummer Adam Pomerantz and his multi-instrumentalist son, Tyler Pomerantz. The band’s What Lies Beneath is the latest album on an already-impressive resume. 

After playing with the likes of Neil Fallon (Clutch) and Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) on their debut album (From the Basement), Adam and Tyler joined forces with collaborator Krissy Allen McPherson to record Funhouse, a cover album celebrating some of the genre’s classics, including Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and Sleep’s “Dragonaut” (below):

On What Lies Beneath, Adam and Tyler have brought in a few familiar faces from From the Basement and a few new voices to complement the two-piece’s sound.

Delco Detention "What Lies Beneath" Album Cover

About Delco Detention

Delco Detention started by recording song covers and posting them to social media. During Tyler’s first foray into Clutch, Neil Fallon eventually took notice and offered to record a song with them.

The resulting track and music video, “The Joy of Homeschooling,” became a cornerstone of From the Basement—and it also won them coverage in Monster Riff and numerous Metal publications. 

Adam and Tyler have kept their foot on the gas ever since, and Tyler, who was already an impressive guitarist, has continued to demonstrate evolving maturity with the guitar and bass. 

For What Lies Beneath, all of the songs were written by Tyler Pomerantz. Adam Pomerantz played the drum tracks, while Tyler managed guitars and bass. The album was mixed and mastered by Leonard Klaic of She Loves Pablo, a Croatian band that collaborated on From the Basement and What Lies Beneath. Cover art was provided by Jason LaFave, and the album design and layout was from Jim Lopresti.

What Lies Beneath Album Review

Release Date: March 1, 2022
Tracks: 10
Length: 35:31

Track 1 – Buckle Up (Featuring Domagoj and Neno of She Loves Pablo)

“Buckle Up” is a powerful choice for an opener, and it shows Delco Detention stepping even more firmly in Metal territory—something supported even further by those rough, distorted vocals. Tyler and Adam are relentless on this song, and this sub-3-minute track proves a quick warm-up for the rest of the album.

Track 2 – Rock Paper Scissors (Featuring Angelique Zuppo)

With Angelique Zuppo, one of the teachers from Tyler’s Let There Be Rock School, managing vocal duties, “Rock Paper Scissors” is one of the best tracks in Delco Detention’s entire catalog. Zuppo’s voice is strong and deep, and it rolls through the song like a freight train—a perfect sidekick to Tyler’s heavy riffing. Be sure to stick around for those backup vocals!

Track 3 – A Slow Burn (Featuring Stephen Desko of Land of Ozz)

Stephen Desko is the frontman to an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band called Land of Ozz, and he also plays in a handful of Black Sabbath tribute bands. While Desko doesn’t go fulL Ozzy on “A Slow Burn,” you can hear some of Ozzy’s high voice and piercing delivery throughout the song, and those vocal decisions help to balance Tyler’s massive bass lines and rumbling riffs. And although Desko and Tyler work hard to steal the show, Adam is especially fun to listen to on the sticks, as he accents his work on “A Slow Burn” with an occasional flurry.

Track 4 – Study Hall Blues (Featuring Bill Jenkins of Kingsnake)

Another song that fits into the childhood theme (like “Rock Paper Scissors,” “Velcro Shoes,” and “The Joy of Homeschooling”), “Study Hall Blues” is sung by Kingsnake frontman Bill Jenkins, who also performed “Digital Animal” on Delco Detention’s first album. Musically, “Study Hall Blues” sounds like an El Rojo jammer—for those of you who are familiar with The Bakerton Group, the instrumental Clutch side project.

Track 5 – What Lies Beneath

The album’s title track is also the first instrumental song on the album, which helps it serve as a sort of intermission after four quick Hard Rock tracks. But that’s not to say this song is worth skipping—not by any means. Tyler tries out some new tones with the bass and guitar, and it’s the first time on the record that we get to hear him flex his fingers without a singer stealing the spotlight.

Track 6 – War Is Mine (Featuring Dave Wessell of Ickarus Gin)

The Delco Detention YouTube channel has a pretty strong following, with more than 1,600 subscribers as of this review. Well, Adam actually met vocalist Dave Wessell in the comments section of a Delco Detention-style Clutch cover. The meeting was fortuitous, it turns out, because Wessell has an impressive set of pipes. Wessell gives “War Is Mine” an extra dose of swagger, taking Tyler’s Tim Sult-inspired guitars and adding in layers of bands like Wolfmother and Shinedown. 

Track 7 – The Ticket (Featuring Kevin McNamara and Mike DiDonato of the Age of Truth)

The Ticket is, interestingly, a rant about receiving a ticket in a speed trap while delivering flowers (something that actually happened to Adam), which leads to this great chorus:

Can I get a T-I-C-K-E-T
What’s that spell?
Money down the drain
Money down the drain

For those keeping track at home, vocalist McNamara also appeared on “422” from Delco Detention’s From the Basement. On “The Ticket,” you’ll still hear plenty of From Beale Street to Oblivion– and Robot Hive/Exodus-era Clutch, but McNamara’s vocals and DiDonato’s guitarwork add some additional signature flourishes. 

Track 8 – Velcro Shoes 

The album’s second instrumental song, “Velcro Shoes” also takes plenty of cues from The Bakerton Group—but with a little more aggression in the primary riff and Tyler’s meandering lead guitar. At only 2:43, “Velcro Shoes” is a nice reset before the next vocal track. 

Track 9 – Stage Fright (Featuring Sam Wentzell of Weather Advisory) 

“Stage Fright” offers a dash of Southern Rock influence, thanks to the Country, twangy Blues of Sam Wentzell—a Canadian musician Delco Detention reached out to after watching him perform a Clutch cover on a cigar box guitar on Instagram. 

Track 10 – FUMOFO (Featuring Eddie Brnabic of Hippie Death Cult)

“FUMOFO” is easily one of the heaviest tracks on the entire album, and it’s completely instrumental. Featuring a squealing guitar over a few of Tyler’s trademark riffs, you’ll occasionally hear tinges of Black Sabbath and Tony Iommi in the guitar solos. If you’d like to hear Brnabic play even more with Delco Detention, check out “Dirt School” on their debut album.

Final Thoughts

Final Score: 9/10

Stand Out Tracks: “Rock Paper Scissors” and “The Ticket”

Pros: Delco Detention’s debut album suffered slightly from bloat. Squeezing 15 tracks onto a single record is a bold move, and it’s not always the best choice for the listener. The father-son duo may have learned less is more, as What Lies Beneath is all killer, no filler. 

Even though From the Basement was released just over a year ago, Tyler’s growth is measurable, and his songwriting has significantly matured. The best is yet to come, especially with “Rock Paper Scissors” and “The Ticket” being two of the strongest songs Delco Detention has ever done—and they had guys like Neil Fallon and Bob Balch on their first record.

Put simply, What Lies Beneath is a Clutch-inspired guitar feast with a revolving door of guest musicians and vocalists to keep each song as compelling as the last.

Cons: It’s hard to complain too much when the primary songwriter is a pre-teen, and it’s even harder when that pre-teen is a wicked guitarist. What Lies Beneath is a strong, fun album, and that Delco Detention sound has obviously grown even more defined since late 2020. Still, Tyler’s musical tastes seem to expand by the day (the band’s Facebook page has shown him listening to Alice in Chains recently), so I’m curious to see how Tyler will blend his diverse influences—if at all—in the future.

Learn More About Delco Detention

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

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: