Thursday, July 26, 2007


Maybe I wasn't paying too close attention, but Dimlaia's debut self-titled CD seemed to creep quietly out of its hole upon release. I can't imagine why it went so relatively unnoticed, because it's quite a beautiful record. The songs were recorded in 2001 (& 2003) and released in CD form on Life is Abuse Records in 2003, and then as a nice gatefold LP last year on Stonehenge records. Yes, Carl Auge, who played bass on a couple of His Hero is Gone records, plays bass here and does vocals. But Dimlaia sound nothing like this predecessor band. In spacier, quieter moments, the band creates its signature haunting atmosphere with rolling bass, twisted, duelling guitars, and, occasionally, cello. At different moments of emotional explosion, you're sure to get a heavy pummeling of distorted chords and even a little "chugga chugga," but there is no predictable pattern from one track to the next. Dimlaia takes a very different route than other slower, progressive bands of the hour, and opt for less indulgent song lengths. Instead of lulling the listener through hypnotic repetition or ambient stretches, they leave their mark relatively quickly, and, like an image poem, let the mood/image of the music fester in the listener's mind long after the song's end. The use of vocals is rather sparse. The low growl, tense yell, and and melodic singing of the three vocalists are used sparingly, as complements to the instruments' more commanding roles. As dark and desperate as these songs are, I can't help but detect hints of hope on most tracks, some kind of light or transcendence forged from their own musical adventure.
As a bonus, the insert/gatefold is emblazoned with Carl Auge's swampy, Tennessee dusklight-bathed artwork, which I find intriguing. And, if you like Dimlaia's music, also check out their split 10" with Japanese nutjobs, Swarrrm, on Superfi records, and Carl Auge's other band called Drain the Sky , which is musically similar.
Support the always excellent:


Anonymous said...

I love this record but it's too short. Carl is a great guy and a helluva a painter. That's his work on the cover.

Batguano said...

Yeah, I like Carl's work a lot, especially the covers of the 2 Dimlaia records. The first Bury the Living LP had a nicely done cover, too.