By nicking styles from a laundry-list of indie-rock greats, the Deleted Scenes forget to create an identity for themselves.
When Deleted Scenes -- a madcap, J. Robbins-approved Maryland-based indie four-piece -- are on, they sound positively unstoppable. You can alternately hear bits of Dandy-Warhols-by-way-of-Blood-Brothers grandstanding ("Mortal Sin"), lush New Pornographers-indebted balladry ("Fake IDs"), total Long Winters ripoffs ("Turn to Sand"), and even some wry Broken Social Scene nods here and there ("City That Never Wakes Up").
Though the Deleted Scenes' best moments are genuinely mixtape-worthy ("Fake IDs" is a stunner), there's a reason why so much of this disc sounds like a compilation of "indie-rock's greatest trends." By nicking and stealing from so many other great acts, the Deleted Scenes never seem to settle on their own musical identity, resulting in half-baked experiments like "Get Your Shit Together for the Holidays" and the lamentable "Another, Worse Cliché", which meanders across so many different styles across the first 60 seconds that you begin to wonder if the band assembles some tracks by cutting and pasting random snippets of their own jams together instead of sitting down and writing cohesive melodies. These low points are a damn shame, too: the Deleted Scenes perpetually sound like they're on the verge of creating something truly great, but with Birdseed Shirt, all they show is the potential, not the actual follow-through.