Diastemata - Self-Titled
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Diastemata
Self-Titled

As someone who listens to lots of large ensemble groups and all kinds of bizarre electronic music, I always find it sort of nice and interesting that there are groups who are still creating interesting music with one of the most basic of lineups; guitar and drums. Sure, punk rock groups have been doing it for some time and I've seen plenty of bar bands try to pull it off with 2-chord power riffing and frantic drumming, but it's something that fails more often than it suceeds.

This year, though, I've heard a couple groups that can do it. The White Stripes pull off the skronky rock, and now Diastemata while using the same basic instrument setup, go in completely different directions. The first difference is in that of vocals. Meade Krosby plays lead guitar in the group and sings in sort of a breathy mixture of Jenny Toomey and Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes. In many ways, the group is like the opposite of the White Stripes, favoring melodic, intricate guitars over power chords and the light vocals of Krosby instead of the wails of Jack White.

The release opens up with two very friendly tracks in "Panoramic" and "Idiot Savants." Drummer Patrick Mucklow lays down some fluttering, subtle drumming while Krosby twinkles out some nice guitar melodies without ever turning up the volume very loud. The latter track is particularly hummable, with lyrics that are out-there and immediate at the same time. On "Deliverance," the guitars get a little more ragged, but not really much harder, while "Suckerhole" is the closest to the defining single that the release has.

Musically, the group doesn't really tread a whole lot of new territory, but they have created an excellent, short (just under 20 minutes) release that serves as a good introduction to the group and hopefully is a sign of more things to come from them. If you're a fan of the aforementioned Spinanes (albeit a bit quieter version of them), Tsunami, or even the less radio-friendly (but also less raucious) tracks by Liz Phair, Diastemata might be just what you're looking for.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00