Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not quite SIDS, but better than some of the UK's finest

Artist: Diet Cola
Title: S/T 7"
Label: Army of Bad Luck
Release date: 2008?
Release number: ABL008
Vinyl color: White

This, the least hyped Deerhunter side project, has Josh Fauver's fingerprints all over it, so I went into this nugget from the Army of Bad Luck back catalog hoping it'd be almost as good as SIDS (a band that also features Fauver) and better than half of the electro-Euro-shit we're all supposed to adore.

The opener, "Easy Learning", has a DIY feel to it, if only because a cough can be heard above the electronic whizzing at the beginning of the song. Beneath the screams is electronic punk reminiscent of an older Jay Reatard band or two.

"Wicked Witch of the Northeast" sounds cool enough to be the song title of a SIDS song, though it's not as clever or downright awesome as "Space Ranger in a Manger". Who cares about song titles, though, when faux bells are ringing? The church bell effects during this tune's mellow, haunting chorus will remind you of being in a mellow drug trance, but, for better or worse, the song kicks into high gear before you can reach for the mushrooms.

The guitar work in "Sick Modern" and the song's pop-fuzz sensibilities make the b-side opener the critic's favorite, but it lacks the weirdness and sense of adventure found in the other songs on this release.

The closer, "Anything Poisonous", brings back the chorus with mellow lyrics accelerating into musical chaos and screaming found in "Wicked Witch of the Northeast". This time, it's piano-based beauty reminscent of some of The Dresden Dolls' slower numbers slamming into a (brick) wall of electronic and guitar sound.

Is this as good as SIDS? No. Is it better than a lot of comparable bands out there, especially the ones in London we're supposed to fawn all over? By far.

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