Dios describe their unique and distinctive genre of music as “psychedelic thrift-store folk”. This could not be a more appropriate to term this thriving Los Angeles based group indicate both in their style of playing to their various forms of self promotion that they lay out on their website like some sort of car boot stall.
Just one glimpse at their website for their new album, “We Are Dios” and you can literally purchasing anything from the record itself, having a private show in the comfort of your living room to spending $500 dollars of your hard earned cash to spend a weekend hanging out with the band themselves; just like a groupie paying for the privilege.
This is a band that clearly sets out to enterprise their craft and existence as much as possible so that they can afford to broaden their musical horizons and with this, their second album, they definitely prove that talk isn’t cheap by displaying 10 equally mind-expanding bittersweet tracks that are made to either excite and ignite your senses or relax, chill out and force you to asses your own mortal path.
As soon as ‘Epileptic Tunnel Vision blasts into life, you feel like you are given a warm welcome to the band, as if one by one they take you by the hand to give you a reassuring handshake. You can tell that lead songwriter Joel Morales and his trusted group of friends have not only been doing their homework studying artists of yesteryear such as The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Neil Young but also keeping a firm eye on similar successful contemporary bands like Fleet Foxes and Empire of the Sun to name a couple.
‘Ojay’ gives off that cosy feeling of a groovy summer ditty. The drums beat out an infectious shuffle that is accompanied by a raw sounding guitar and bass that always keeping the listening guessing what direction that they are going to go in next.
‘No Is Wrong’ would definitely not look out of place on one of The Beatles later albums to the extent that one expects to hear ‘I buried Paul’ at the end of the song.
‘Toss My Cookies’ continues on the unnerving and unnatural rhythm and chord patterns that the band have showcased already and seems to be perfect for a ghoulish trip into some small town carnival that could well have been manifested in your dreams. There is a fine line in the production where the song feels fragile and like it could break at any second, however the band keep it together with great aplomb and keep the listener interested.
‘Stare At Wheel’ sees Dios show us their rock credentials with a song that would give The Raconteurs a run for their money. However, the band does not let you forget that their acoustic sound is at the base of most of their music with a sumptuous bridge towards the end of the track.
‘Tell Me Thing’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Marry You’ is a showcase for the guitarists and vocal talents of the band however these two tracks prove to not be as strong as the others on the album as the band seem to be wanting to encompass too many different sounds into the mix to satisfy their zest and love for music.
‘Don’t be afraid’ gives one an impression of being welcomed into an acid party being hosted by Joy Division. You may as well be staring off into the distance at a spiralling Rorschach as the music permeated your senses. It is odd, no doubt about it, but makes for compelling listening. This dreamlike feeling is carried on into ‘Oh Don’t Feel Bad’. However, you can’t help but wish that Dios would stick to one set scheme of music as this song does not have the ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ of its predecessors.
All is not lost as with the last track, ‘It Will Feel Good’, the group bid you farewell in the same humbling manner in which you were introduced to the album. We are treated to a wonderful piece of flute playing as well as the soothing acoustic rhythm that we have come to expect. The song ends and you are brought full circle.Please rest assured, this is a band that clearly has a bright few years ahead of them and if they play live anything like the do within the comfort of their home studio, you will be in for an aural treat of epic proportions.
Words : Barclay Quarton