DINERS – Always Room (Diet Pop Records/Lost Sound Tapes/Phat n Phunky)
DINERS emerged from the ashes of Hello The Mind Control, the first Phoenix, AZ band led by Tyler Broderick. Although he has always had a special touch writing instantly relatable songs for the teenagers at heart, with his DINERS project Tyler carved back the overblown orchestration and anthems of Hello The Mind Control into sleek pop song gems. Although Brian Wilson is clearly a touchstone, the songcraft and arrangement hearkens back to Van Dyke Parks’ freewheeling compositions and audiological creation of distinct musical worlds on recorded tape. The songs are all too short, with only one clocking in over four minutes, but each song takes you on a journey.
Achieving a unique mood and aura for each song was obviously foremost on Tyler’s mind. He recorded and remixed the album for months to produce a soulful surf pop magnum opus that showcases his intimate lyricism and easy-breezy pop sensibility. While the album is filled with catchy hooks and choruses, Tyler is not content sitting in the standard pop song arrangement, adding unique instrumental passages and barebones, in-the-room, break downs like the tracks “So Free” and “My House”. One of the best little moments is the ripping micro-solo during the "Good Zone"- one of the album’s best tracks. "Cool Kids" is one of the few downtempo ballads but has a strong syncopated rhythmic motif accented by the 80s keyboard chimes to augment Tyler’s social commentary.
The lyrical tropes make this a perfect album for the summer. Hanging out, citrus, tenuous relationships and pure bliss are all explored thoroughly making for a distinctly youthful album with retro styling that appeals to the 60s and 70s pop generation. Ukuleles, and twangy ‘verbed-out guitars only help add to the album’s summer vibes. The only thing that is a bit of a drawback, especially where natural summer vibes are concerned, is the subtle but copious amount of effects and choppy reverb on the voices and orchestration. When listening with headphones the phasers, intense slapback delay and muddy reverbs are distracting more than mood setting- they fuzz out nicely on the cassette though. The closer, “Overcasters” is an amazing showcase of DINERS glorious orchestration and endless-summer vibes but the fuzz and phasers kinda kill the end of the song, not to mention the obliterating delay after the intro.
One could see this being a fully orchestrated pop masterpiece but the occasional slide guitars, keyboards and rapturous flutes are poignant and enveloping. Moments of this record remind one of the indie pop bands of the early 2000s like The Shins and Belle & Sebastian as well as contemporary peers like iji and Pitschouse. Given more resources who knows what kind of perfect pop record DINERS could create- how are these guys not signed to a bigger label and given a bigger budget?! Tyler’s keen sense of composition and thrifty orchestration would’ve made him a prime candidate to pump out warm sunshine pop hits with the best studio musicians of the past like The Wrecking Crew- if this was 1967. Supposedly he already has another record in the works but hopefully Tyler and company will hit the road a few times to give these songs their due and turn people on to this glorious summer record!
Listen/purchase: "Always Room" by Diners
"Do I look vile and obscene?"
Anonymous asked: Where's that new Shinobu album?
Coming early 2015.