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"Rhombithian" Sincere Engineer

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Nov 28th 2017 10:00 pm

Sincere Engineer’s Deanna Belos has been around the block a few times. Belos, who has been a staple in the Chicago punk scene in recent years, revived her Sincere Engineer moniker to bring forth “Rhombithian”, one of the most finely crafted emo albums of the past five years. 

In her own way, Belos is at her best when she’s singing about being miserable. “Rhombithian” explores heartbreak, exhaustion and Belos’ mid-20s struggles.

“It’s super nice out, but I’m too scared to leave my house, so I’ll fall asleep on the couch,” Belos wails on “Corndog Sonnet No. 7.” “What am I supposed to do now?”

The lead single from the album, “Ceramic Tile,” is a masterpiece of a hangover song. Belos cries out over clanging guitars, a slow burn as her voice warms up through the song.

“My mouth is bleeding and the day is starting too soon, I welcome forehead kisses from the floor,” Belos sings. “I said, for real this time no more.”

“Rhombithian” is different from any of Belos’ previous releases under the Sincere Engineer moniker. Recorded with Matt Jordan of You Blew It!, Belos employed a full band for the album, bringing her acoustic solo songs off the page into a fuller sound. Belos said she originally planned on it being a solo album, but Jordan convinced her otherwise.

Aside from her full band recording, Belos stays right on track with her acoustic hooks. Belos re-recorded “Here’s Your Two Dollars,” a song originally released as an acoustic video on YouTube in 2014. The song is one of the most raw tracks on the album, with Belos singing about a former lover.

“I watched the clouds roll in and you’re not far, but you’re so distant,” Belos screams over and over for the chorus. “I’m waking up, I’m rising up to the surface, and God damn, I feel so worthless.” 

Perhaps the best track on the album is “Overbite”. In it, Belos sings about how life after college is treating her. She, like many people in their early to mid 20s, had high aspirations cut short by her own laziness. 

“Could’ve been a doctor if I really cared enough, but I didn’t have it in me, I got distracted by a bunch of stuff,” Belos sings. “I’m so stupid and empty.”

“Rhombithian” is one of the best emo records to come out in the last five years, easily. Belos crafts some of the catchiest hooks emo has seen, all delivered through her snotty and gruff voice. Finally, a record about self deprecation that’s also fun.

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