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“Live at Palomino Sound” by Foolish Deep

Foolish Deep recorded a live in-studio performance, Live at Palomino Sound, during the summer of 2021 and the first single, “Looking for the Moon”, should generate considerable enthusiasm for the band’s music. The California quintet describe their music as alternative pop with a dash of 80’s influence for good measure but attentive listeners will detect more going on. “Looking for the Moon”, for instances, approaches commercially-minded music from a singer/songwriter point of view.

Lead guitarist Juan Valdez pairs successfully with singer/rhythm guitarist Caspar. They are the band’s musical center though keyboardist Colin Deas makes many important contributions along the way. His efforts during “Looking at the Moon”, however, are ensemble-oriented and the keyboard playing further fleshes out an already robust arrangement. They make quite an impression with this single.

“Never On Her Feet” is a more than worthy follow-up. Some can successfully argue that the band, for all their nods towards the pop end of things, is a guitar band first and foremost. There are no extended lead guitar runs during “Never on Her Feet” but the tandem of Caspar and Valdez create vivid sparks throughout this song. “One More Shot” is another top drawer pop song carried by guitars, a steady rhythm section attack, and polished sonic character. The production throughout this recording is one of its greatest strengths.

It, as well, illustrates the maturity level of the music. Foolish Deep aren’t serving up disposable pop music despite the sound of their music and, in their own modest fashion, they prove with each cut that the possibilities of the form are arguably greater than many propose. The EP’s sole cover, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, revisits Tears for Fears’ 80’s classic with entertaining results. It’s musically satisfying and never disappoints you with a slavish imitation of the classic original. Many will appreciate the band’s unpredictability choosing a cover such as this; the once prominent British act is scarcely remembered in the 2021 music world. The songwriting, however, plays to the band’s strengths.

“Stranger” is a powerful ending for the EP. It explores a much larger composition than any other performance featuring several quasi “movements” building into a cohesive whole. It takes enormous skill to pull this off. Moreover, it takes gifts to make a nearly eleven minute performance play like a song half that length. Few, if any, listeners will feel like they must slog through this track.

It is a rewarding all-around release. In lieu of still scant live performances, it is a intelligent move for the band to remind music listeners of what they do best. These five songs highlight the inspired commitment they bring to each performance, innate chemistry, and dedication to writing fully integrated songs. Foolish Deep isn’t in this for the short term; everything about their originals feels like work from a group of “lifers” determined to express themselves musically. Their voices are welcome. It is, no matter any subject, life-affirming music with enduring value and let’s hope they follow it up soon.  

Mindy McCall



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