If there’s no heaven… I’ll make it exist.
Ah, those Los Angeles purveyors of post-punk perfidy, Deceits, have deigned to dance once more into the fray, parading their latest opus with a flourish: If There’s No Heaven… With a title that winks at eternity, this collection of tunes is a veritable seesaw of sentiment, a curious cavort between the depths of despondency and the buoyant bubbles of hope. They’ve plucked the name of this melodious mélange from a line, oh so poignant, that emerges in the twilight of the album—a tale of paramours, those star-cross’d perhaps, entwining their fates with whispers stout enough to thumb their noses at the void’s gaping maw. Their tender troth seems to be but a delicate defiance to the Great Big Void. Love in the shadow of nothingness — what could be more divine?
Within its breadth, the album traverses a spectrum of musical expressions, each segment a reflection of the varied sentiments encountered during its creation. Deceits deftly honor the canon of classic post-punk — The Cure, Sad Lovers & Giants, The Chameleons, The Danse Society — while their repertoire unflinchingly incorporates elements across genres, embracing the angularity of new wave, the dark contours of deathrock, and even the impassioned cries of ’90s emo/screamo. It’s a bold synthesis of influences that speaks both to the band’s versatility and to their reverence for the form.
The opening track, Failures, is a highly energetic song with a guitar riff inspired by Promised Land by Skeletal Family and Primary by The Cure.
“Failures was one of the first songs we ever wrote, we decided to properly re-record it since we felt it had much more potential to reach the sound we envisioned for it when we first wrote it,” says Moreno. The chorus line of “the bliss of failure” is about trying to find peace in owning up to major life mistakes.
Drowning In An Empty Sea is a love letter to early Cure: it pays homage to A Forest.
“The song was created in roughly one day which was a first for us since it’s usually a chaotic and long process,” Moreno recalls. “The song’s lyrics came to me suddenly in a daydream I had in which I imagined a beautiful dark blue ocean, and because of my fear of oceans, I felt like I was choking without even having to touch the water which I subconsciously knew was a metaphor for the sensation of going through anxiety.”
In the veiled language of night, a solitary soul yearns for a reunion steeped in the eternal and the visceral in the lyrics for the next song; Mi Amor, Mi Vampira. This poetic lament blends devotion with a gothic romance, where love’s sacrifice verges on the vampiric, yearning for an amor de sangre—a love as deep and enduring as the blood that sustains life itself.
This sentiment is followed by A Burial of Dreams: a haunting confession emerges in the twilight of introspection—a plea for quietus among the cacophony of regrets. The seeker of solace confronts their history, longing for erasure, for the peace of mind that eludes them. Amidst the refrains of could-haves and should-haves, there lies a stark yearning for the solace found in the oblivion of closed eyes. This elegy to the self, rife with the torment of unspoken words and unhealed wounds, is a testament to the weight of memory and the elusive nature of healing.
Every Promise is a candid narrative entwining affection and regret, confronting the solitary aftermath of personal failings. Brooding guitar and an undercurrent of bass and evocative guitar riffs carry a distinct fervour with Moreno’s passionate vocals. Lingering on unsaid words and past regrets, the lyrics evoke a remorseful reflection on lost opportunities and unfulfilled commitments. A chorus of apologies underscores a narrative of love and disappointment, where roses symbolize intentions never fully realized and promises remain hauntingly unkept.
To Just Fade Away commences with guitar notes that are ethereal whispers harkening to the Cocteau Twins, before surging into a breakneck tempo. In a seamless genre shift, Serenity (Blows The Wind) sweeps us into the realm of Britpop, yet it is imbued with the airy essence of dream pop laced with a discernible post-punk edge, evoking a soundscape that is both nostalgic and novel.
As the album draws to a close, we are met with If There’s No Heaven…, a track that resides in the deepest echelons of introspection. With its resemblance to The Cure at their most contemplative, it’s a track that doesn’t just simmer with existential musings—it demands an active engagement, an audit of the soul. Here lies the quintessence of the album: it is as much a collection of songs as it is a dialogue with the self, a meditation on the ethereal and the eternal.
Listen below and order the album here:
In the waning months of 2021, a band known as Deceits came into existence through the camaraderie of Kevin Moreno, contributing his vocal stylings as well as handling the bass and synthesizer; Kevin Hernandez, who takes up the mantle of the guitarist alongside his synthesizer responsibilities; and Francisco Saenz, who underpins the trio with his percussion. This collective draws a deep well of inspiration from The Cure, with a nod as well to the likes of Asylum Party and Human Tetris.
The ensemble crafts a sound that is at once reflective and rhythmically compelling, a nod to the brooding introspection of the 1980s post-punk scene. Yet, Deceits does not merely replicate; they infuse their work with contemporary darkwave sensibilities and an undercurrent of hardcore punk’s immediacy and spirit. This fusion creates a poignant backdrop that invites both reflection and movement, an homage that speaks as much to the present as it does to its storied influences.
Please support Post-Punk.com! You can do so via: