Under Review

 The Diableros

You Can’t Break the Strings in Our Olympic Hearts (Baudelaire)

Review By Brent Mattson


There’s nothing like a blast of shimmering 12-string guitar, bouncy organ lines, gritty fuzzbass, trebly guitar leads and yelping/longing talk-singing all set to a groovy 4/4 beat to remind you that you’ve got a pulse. After all, major-key melodies are so the new defibrillators. Who cares if you’ve heard it before? The Byrds who, right? If any of this reminds you of a lonely day in your dorm room (minus the defibrillator), The Diableros may be your new fourth-favourite band. On their debut, this band from the painfully un-hip city of Toronto plays jangling indie rock without the self-conscious quirkiness of groups like Modest Mouse and Wolf Parade, or the mock grandeur of Arcade Fire. Not that I intend to disparage those groups; I just want to stress that The Diableros specialize in good, old-fashioned pop songwriting that you can take home to mom.

Gary Leggett’s fuzzbass intro to “Tropical Pets” will warm even the hippest hipster’s icy heart, and the interplay between the bass, guitars and organs (one regular and one a vintage Farfisa) throughout the album is always interesting. The separate instruments mesh to create glorious melodies within the dense compositions, disguising how impressively tight and attuned to each others’ playing the band members are. The icing on the cake is Phoebe Lee, who might just be the best drummer at maintaining a constant 4/4 beat with bubblegum fills since Ringo Starr.

At the end of the 39 minutes, the album is a pleasant escape from a bad day. Not quite mind blowing enough to make you quit your job and follow the Maharishi, but perfect for putting on your headphones and melting into your comfy chair for say, 39 minutes. This album is good from the first spin and will only get better as all the musical layers are revealed.