Friday, December 9th, 2005

Push It To Monday

I’d been getting email bulletins from Toronto’s Diableros for a little while now, but foolishly had never paid too close attention (in my defense – I get a lot of emails about a lot of things, and don’t pay too close attention to most of them). Thankfully head Diablero Pete Carmichael sent me a copy of their just-released debut album, You Can’t Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts, to show me the error of my ways.

On first listen, it all sounds a bit familiar. From the distorted, yelpy vocals through the Honey’s Dead buzz and drone (fitting since the band initially formed for a JAMC tribute show) built on psychedelic 12-string guitars and Farfisa organs to the distinctly post-punk/new wave revivalist song stylings, you’ve heard most of the pieces before, but The Diableros special blend makes it all sound fresh and unique. The fact that they graft on some killer pop hooks doesn’t hurt, either – those and the frantic energy that they infuse the album with really do make you want to move (jump around, dance, break stuff, whatever), a fact that’s touched on their cover feature in this week’s NOW. I was a little surprised to read that they share a family tree with other local faves The Airfields, though it sort of makes sense, somehow. The notion that there’s two camps in this city – the Wavelength arties and the Silver Dollar greasy rockers… it’s like the Mods of College vs the Rockers of Spadina. I’d buy tickets to that rumble. Anyway, it’s a shame that I didn’t get to The Diableros them before that 33 Hottest Bands In Canada got compiled, because I surely would have included them on my list.

Check out some tracks from Olympic Hearts, presented with the kind permission of the band:

MP3: The Diableros – “Push It To Monday”
MP3: The Diableros – “No Weight”

And there’s some more stuff at their MySpace page. The Diableros have a few shows around the GTA over the next little while including a show at the Speakeasy (formerly Rockit) on Tuesday and an opening slot for We Are Scientists and Oxford Collapse at the Horseshoe on January 14.

In Joe Pernice’s latest email dispatch, he bitches about the Toronto cold (suck it up, Joe – it’s only going to get worse) and reveals that he will away to the sunny climes of Connecticuit in January to record the next Pernice Brothers record.

The Shins’ James Mercer talks album #3 with Pitchfork.

Aimee Mann will again be on the road early next year, presumably to support The Forgotten Arm, and as such will be in Toronto on February 6 at the smaller-than-her-usual-digs Mod Club. So while more intimate is nice, it’ll probably translate to damned expensive tickets. FYI.

Pulse Of The Twin Cities talks to Low’s Alan Sparhawk about The Great Destroyer and the departure of bassist Zak Sally. I like how they conveniently cropped Sally out of all the promo pics in the article… Low are at Lee’s Palace on January 31.

np – The Mountain Goats / The Coroner’s Gambit

By : Frank Yang at 8:58 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. eugene says:

    I believe Aimee’s tour in February is "acoustic". Not sure if that means just Aimee or Aimee plus Julian.

  2. Dodge says:

    So I received the Diableros album in the mail and checked it out and really like what they had going on, but the production is terrible. I’d love to see them live, i bet I’d like them much more. I just think the vocals are recorded far too much in the background for my taste, it’s not a good mix…is it like that on your copy?

  3. Frank says:

    The production is rough, but almost certainly deliberately so. I don’t know what your copy sounds like, but it’s probably the same as mine – I think mine is the final, commercially released CD.

    the overly lo-fi thing usually gets to me, but in this case I think it works. Or the songs are strong enough to overcome it and turn it to their advantage.

  4. Thierry says:

    For once I have to agree with NOW – the Diableros are deserving cover boys this week, as their debut has quickly rocketed to the top of my favourite Toronto releases of 2005 (and may just make my overall Top 10). However, there’s no excuse for using "incendiary" to describe a rock band any more. C’mon, Sarah, haven’t you seen Almost Famous?

  5. Dodge says:

    Do you really think so?! I mean, why? The songs are great, but I can hardly hear what he’s saying…what benefit does that have to the songs? I don’t know, I think this is a really good band, with really good songs, that recorded them like sh!te. Anyway, that’s why I’d love to see them live.

  6. Frank says:

    now I’m curious. Does your copy of the CD sound like the mp3s I posted? Cause I don’t actually know what those mp3s sound like – I grabbed em off another site (which I was directed to by Pete) and posted them on my own server without listening to them, I just assumed they were the same as my copy.

    I suspect, however, we just have different opinions on acceptable fidelity. If I had a real problem with the production, I’d have mentioned it and deducted "points" accordingly. In this case, I find it part of the charm.

  7. Andrew says:

    re: 33 hottest bands…were YOU the one who nominated Beth In Battle Mode? Considering we’ve only played two shows, it came as a surprise to find ourselves on that list…

  8. Frank says:

    hey Andrew – nope, wasn’t me. Didn’t even know you had something new on the go. I don’t who did – ask Matthew at I Heart Music who your secret admirer is!

  9. Dodge says:

    no, the CD I have sounds like the mp3s you posted…we’ll agree to disagree on this one Frank, I just think (only my opinion) that their songs would play so much better if the vocals were brought forward…it just sounds like he’s singing out of a drain. I hear the good shiz going on, I just wish it wasn’t ruined by the shoddy (even if it is purposeful) production.

  10. Greg says:

    I’ll confirm this with Pete, but I believe those MP3s are pre-mastering. That said, Ryan who did the mastering is a fan of the lo-fi aesthetic. The band is happy, which I suppose is the key. I think they sound wonderful on CD.

  11. Frank says:

    thanks Greg. Interesting, I’ll rip some mastered MP3s up tonight or tomorrow and maybe put them up alongside the ones I got off you, and compare and contrast.

  12. Chris says:

    Bowmanville Reprazent. So glad to see so many of my mates from High School getting props this year from Now and Eye (Thom D’Arcy and now Pete each getting a cover!), and fine bloggers like Frank! We always said that the Ville would one day rule the world, and while that may not come to fruition, we (and I use that term loosely as I have absolutely nothing to do with either the Diableros or the Ladies and Gentlemens success!) are making a dent in the tough T.O music scene!

    Congrats Diableros, well done!

  13. Frank says:

    okay, I’ve re-upped the songs as 192kbps mp3s ripped off the CD. sounds about the same, to be honest. But there you go.

  14. Jay Watts III says:

    I’ve been digging the Diableros album, too… Great stuff, even if it is a little rough around the edges production wise. To me though, it sounds as if that’s a result of bad-mastering, rather than the recording itself.

  15. Thierry says:

    Well, I’ll stand up for the Diableros’ production/mastering as I, like Frank, quite like it. I don’t think it draws the attention away from the quality of the songs, and that roughness is what gives the record its edge (in spots it also reminds me of Owen Morris’s purposely raw production of the first Oasis record). And having the vocals a little lower in the mix never prevented me from enjoying a record (but I like early Cocteau Twins, so take that as a warning…).

  16. Blaser says:

    The Onion also has a Sparhawk interview covering the same territory.