Posts Tagged ‘dios (malos)’

Cream of Eight

Enter Cream of Eight, available here thanks to djeddieo.  As I work on my year end comps I simply try to include songs and bands that have struck me over the past year.   I’m not sure if this technically qualifies any of them as ‘best of’.   More accurately they are my favorites that I think are worth sharing.  In some cases it’s just a great song off an okay album, in others it could an entree into a whole new favorite album or band.  Regardless, I just hope there’s something to pique the interest of anyone who listens.
Heart From Us All – White Denim.  I could have picked any number of songs from this album (which, if pushed, I would probably give my #1 pick to).   The double-vocal at the end, and a cool lead in which is imperative to any of my comps, helped win this one the leadoff spot.

Gardenia – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.  No surprise here, another quality body of work from Malkmus and the Jicks.  With my other favorites from this album tracking in at over 6 minutes, I went with this super-sweet shorter offering.  Is that guitar crescendo leading into the refrain a rip off of something… some 70’s tv show maybe??  I can’t place it, but it sounds familiar – in a good way.

Nothing Ever Happened – Deerhunter.  So I was wrong, Pitchfork gave it #5.

Top Drawer – Man Man.  I’m surprised their album Rabbit Habits hasn’t appeared on more top lists.  It relies heavily on Tom Waits meets a band of gypsies (the Eastern European kind, not the Hendrix kind).  But with an analog that unique, I think there’s room for them at the party.

(disclaimer: the following 3 songs are actually from 2007 or earlier, but they were new to me this year!)

Stop – The Jackson Analogue.  From their album And Then, Nothing. This and one other song, Day is Done, are the easy standouts from this Isle of Wight outfit.  Beyond that it falls into a somewhat predictable R&B Rock album.  Fine enough, but not as strong as hoped for.

Veni Vidi Vici – The Black Lips.  This album ranked so high on a lot of 2007 lists I picked it up in January and wasn’t disappointed.  Especially this song with it’s slinky underwater garage vibe.

Starting Five – Dios Malos.  Actually from 2004!  I blogged about these guys in October and I’m still happy I found ’em… even this late.

I Don’t Know What You’re Saying – Ladyhawk.  Not to be confused with Ladyhawke (with an ‘e’), the dancier New Zealand singer that’s starting to get more notice.  This Ladyhawk hails from Vancouver and if you like this tune the rest of their 2008 release, titled Shots, shouldn’t disappoint.

Love Me Anyway – Steve Wynn.  On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed with the latest album from the former Dream Syndicate frontman.  I wish more of it had the same feel as this song.

Chains – Sons & Daughters.  All year I think I’ve had Scotland’s Sons & Daughters confused with Austin’s Brothers & Sisters.  Everytime I heard reference to the latter, I would dismiss as something I already knew about the former.  Make sense?  Either way… the Glaswegian offspring really know how to bring the power pop.  I need to do more research on the sibling variant.

Headshock – Tapes ‘n Tapes.  This album, although not as strong as 2007’s The Loon, has been a grower.  I particularly like the Peggy Sue-style guitar breakdown in the middle of this track.

Jaguar Pirates – Jaguar Love.  Love ’em or hate ’em, they do have their own sound – or at least one shared with the lead singer Johnny Whitney’s former band, Blood Brothers.

All Parts of Me – Love as Laughter.  One of my top indie pop albums of the year.  Although not in my normal wheelhouse, this is the song that drew me in.

Set In Stone – Catfish Haven.  I hoped for a little more from this album.  Similar to Jackson Analogue I feel like I’m at an ’08 (..errr ’09?) version of an Animal House frat party.

Dickshaker’s Union – Surf City.  My most recent find/post.  I’m looking forward to more from them in ’09.

Dig, Lazarus, Dig – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  Seemingly a mainstay on my comps… if he puts out an album each year, it will surely be represented.

Hard Feelings – The Constantines.  Is it wrong that I have nothing to say other than these guys are from Toronto!?  Although they do have a new entry in the ironic covers department: a duet with Feist of Islands in the Stream, which you can stream here.

Which Way to Go – Eddy Current Suppression Ring.  Another album of the year contender with it’s straight up, no pretense, pub punk.

All You Ever Wanted – The Black Keys.  Despite being produced by Danger Mouse, their album Attack and Release stays true to the minimal blues their foundation is based on.  This song is the album’s opener, but I think it works equally as well as an outro.

Happy New Year, and all the new music it will hopefully bring.


Dios (Malos), Underground Railroad to Candyland, Japanese Motors

When I saw this picture…

…and read the band’s name, Dios (Malos), I was definitely intrigued.  I just knew there was no way this investigation wouldn’t pay off.  Turns out they’ve been around for a few years.  Originally called Dios, they changed their name after a threatened lawsuit from the, ahem.. great… Ronnie James (coming clean, at one time I did have a Dio concert t-shirt!).  Since then it looks like they’ve changed their name again, and are now known as We Are Dios.   It also appears that they have an upcoming album under this name, which can be sampled on their myspace page.  But with their stated disdain for the ‘business’ it looks like they are currently without a label, so who knows when it will be released.

Their bio indicates a definite punk-rock aesthetic.  From LA’s South Bay area they cite Black Flag and the Minutemen as influences.  But musically, they are more in line with a different band from their hometown of Hawthorn, the Beach Boys.  And more specifically the studio experimentation of Pet Sounds.  They write catchy, clean pop songs which then become the basis for exploration. Impressively though, they don’t lose sight of the main piece while exploring, which means you find yourself happily lost in these tangents, not bewildered about what just happened.  So if you like your beach pop with a detour, these guys may be for you.

Live tracks, like those from their sessions for Daytrotter, are understandably more direct.  My favorite from this sampling is Some Alcohol, but DJEddieO might prefer the cover of Paul McCartney’s Let Me Roll It (link to the original).

If you like Dios (Malos), but want a little more straightforward SoCal beach punk, try The Underground Railroad to Candyland.  Dios guitarist, singer, and primary songwriter Joel Morales is also in this band, but seems to be mostly in a supporting role.  The standout song for me is Livin’ In A Straw, whose video captures their vibe pretty well.

Finally, sticking on the SoCal coast, Japanese Motors probably have the best chance of being found on a radio sometime soon, if not already.  There’s no doubt where their roots are either, Single Fins and Safety Pins could be the beach-going punk’s answer to Roadrunner.  Throw in a Strokes and Lou Reed/Velvet Underground reference and you get an idea of where they stand.  Perfect summer soundtrack… I don’t care if it is autumn in New England.