Dig through the subpar musical material of metal and garage mix at your own risk. Guaranteed, you will find some trash. We’re all looking for that special something that perks our ears. Whether it’s nostalgia or a taste of something new, the music’s out there waiting. A few years of listening to radio-ready supply and I was annoyed with what I heard from the rock genre. Most attempts were overdone and I was ready for creativity to take over the scene.
Diarrhea Planet sounds like a book on parenting skills. Do away with that image. The six-piece band is highly equipped to bring rolls of voltage-garage punk. I was ecstatic about the band last year when I heard singles, “Spooners” and “Lite Dream” on KEXP. The band has four guitarists. That’s a sign of either disaster or brilliance. Fortunately, it offers the band unique opportunities to open songs into thrashing showpieces. They are one of the few artists that can pull off the experimental sound and stay razor-edge sharp. Their third studio album, Turn To Gold, harnesses the sounds of collaborated workmanship and profound energy.
They seem a bit less focused on getting underneath everyone’s skin in this album than in past endeavors. After all, the band was formed in specific measures to make irritable people more irritable. Singer, Jordan Smith’s throaty vocals pave the way in a modest second track, “Announcement”. Something I really enjoy about his lyrical choices is that they search for what it means to be a man. Smith doesn’t try to be lyrically intelligent. The song is straight to the point and cutthroat. Throwing all the typical ambitions on the table, it’s a perfect fit for the individual looking to make money for himself.
“Life Pass” opens with an arrangement of both high and low-end dueling guitars. I actually think the song would be boring if it weren’t for the extra guitars. One of them is playing the rhythm section, while the other three wail on for a few harmonious moments. In fact, this is what Diarrhea Planet is known for. If you listen to the song with this in mind, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say the band is skillful at blending rhythms and blowing through some snappy riffs.
The band’s goal was to produce grander songs on this album. I wasn’t sure how that could be done, being that the band hit home runs with the previous two albums. As I listened to Turn To Gold twice over, the ambition began to make sense. This is an album that throws out (most of) the wrenching, loud-mouth appeal. “Bob Dylan’s Grandma” is a youthful surmise and then turns into a seasoned, mature adult. I think this song provides evidence that the band can step back from their usual madness and provide audiences with softer melodies. A similar quality track is “Dune”. Light passes of guitar bleed into the solo, mid way through. This lasts a few short moments and then, in comes the overtaking melodic outro that offers an ambient twist. “Ruby Red” insists lyrics of “blaming it on the world” and “now we know what we are missing”. Though this song is mostly about being young and getting beat up, it maintains the moderate attitude.
Amidst all of the mid-range categorizing sits the energy flaring guitars. This is my favorite bit. The guitars force every song back into submission to carry on an effect that keeps with the band’s formula of die hard enthusiasm.
Diarrhea Planet is all about the music first. Lyrics come second. No one who listens to the genre wants to hear about metaphors and philosophical ideas in the first place. The band blares all the raging shards in “Ain’t A Sin To Win” when they sing about the absolutes of riding a motorcycle. That’s what you get with Diarrhea Planet. The band rides on the throttle and doesn’t look back. It messes with your head. The final song, “Headband” pronounces the full sound of a six-membered marathon. This is the way it should be. The band comes full circle to do what it does best by smashing through an eight minute progression. Turn To Gold boasts solidity and should fill audiences with instant gratification. You know all along, you’re listening to Diarrhea Planet.
Garage-Punk | Infinity Cat Recordings