This is our first record review for 2015 and I can’t think of a better way to kick things off! DIE SO FLUID is a band I got into in late 2013 with The World is Too Big for One Lifetime, the group’s third record that was already out for three years. When I heard them I was blown away instantly. The trio of Grog (bass, lead vocals), Al Fletcher (drums), and Drew Richards (guitar) spoke to me in ways I haven’t heard since CONCRETE BLONDE’S Bloodletting album. The songs aren’t overdone, and the band finds that perfect balance of melody, punch, and balls. And now, with their newest release The Opposites of Light, they have shared with us arguably their most ambitious work yet. 16 tracks that range from hard rock to gothic to atmospheric to damn near unclassifiable, these songs are like so many colors painted on a musical canvas, and when all is said and done it’s up to you to decide what you see.
Opener “Nightmares” and “Comets” have a dirty rock quality to them, while “Black Blizzard” displays a hypnotic rhythm and vocal line that will draw you in very quickly. Thing is, over the course of this record, you’ll be pulled in many different directions. There are elements of SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES in my absolute favorite track “The World Opposite”, some blues-tinged grooves in “Carnival” and even a bit of THE PRETTY RECKLESS in “Anubis”. All of these are great things, because it shows just how much of a musical melting pot DIE SO FLUID is. This is very evident from the opening guitar of “You Suffocate We All Suffer” with its tightly-wound verses and big, aired-out chorus, making it yet another album standout.
Completely shifting gears “Violent Delights” feels like it was inspired by a campfire jam session at Joshua Tree on a summer night. “Landslides” is something that wouldn’t be out of place on a CONCRETE BLONDE album, with its understated tones and perfectly executed melodies, and then before you know it “Crime Scene” is there, busting doors down and kicking some asses once again. Another number I was particularly enthralled with was “Echo of a Lie”. Grog gives her best vocal performance here and just owns the song from start to finish. You’ll also be hard pressed not to tap your feet to “Transition” a song where the band goes from light to dark with the flick of a switch.
For “Falcons” the band employs some symphonic elements behind a minuet tempo and I was instantly reaching for my early 17th-century garb and powdered wig. You may think I’m poking fun, but I’m not. This is a beautiful song, as is the serene “Dream Sequence”, once again showcasing the amazing vocals of Grog. The thing that makes DIE SO FLUID so good is that you truly have no idea where they’re going from one song to the next, something that I always enjoy hearing in my bands. And with The Opposites of Light, just close your eyes and let Al, Drew, and Grog take you on this journey with them. I guarantee you’ll love it.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Black Blizzard”, “The World Opposite”, “Echo of a Lie”, “Falcons”, “You Suffocate We All Suffer”, “Comets”, “Transition”