Monday, November 28, 2005

You Can't Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts

concert review: The Diableros w/ Henri Faberge and The Adorables, Lipstick Machine @ Sneaky Dee's(Toronto, Ontario), November 26, 2006

The Diableros - You Can't Break The Strings In Our Olympic HeartsThis past Saturday I finally got around to seeing The Diableros again, this time being their CD release show. My first time seeing them was when they were openers for The Two Koreas' CD release show at The Boat in Toronto back in June. My first impressions of them were good but I didn't give 'em the props then that they so truly deserve. I managed to miss all their local shows since they played The Boat in June but the mp3's they had on their website during the summer(as well as the streaming audio they have on their MySpace site) were more than enough to get me more acquainted with their music. It's damn fine stuff.

I made it to Sneaky Dee's just in time for the start of Henri Faberge and The Adorables ' set. Having read comments over at Stille Post about the band on occasion, their local Toronto following seems totally giddy about them. The band setup a monthly residency at Embassy in Kensington Market and each show seems to draw rave reviews over at Stille Post. This was the first time I've caught them live and I'll say they were just alright. They were charming as hell and the music was peppy, but musically they didn't really connect with me. The handclaps, horns, tambourines, keyboards, and exuberant singing are right up my pop music alley, but the melodies didn't always connect with me. Apparently they were missing a couple of members that night and I've been advised that I really should check them out their Embassy shows. I'm more than willing to give 'em another chance in the future. I'm sure we'll meet again. If anything, they are fun with a capital 'F'. On a quick note, I'd like to mention that preceding their set was a poet friend of theirs from New York who performed this brief spoken-word performance anectdote about going to the 'butt doctor' which lead into his introduction, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Henri Faberge and The Adorables". The most hilarious band intro ever!

My recollection of The Diableros' set is sort of hazy, in no small part due to a couple of psycho dancer dudes near me busting out the moves. I give 'em props for having fun but they ALMOST elbowed me a couple of times. With a interesting video projection behind them, the band played their tunes from their awesome debut album "You Can't Break The Strings In Our Olympic Hearts". I don't have too much to say about their live show itself. There was enough energy on stage I suppose but really they're a band that's more about music than stage persona. They remind me a bit of that sort of cool British aloofness a la Echo and The Bunnymen which really is all fine with me. And like Echo, The Diableros have the tunes to back it up. I assume that The Diableros played most(if not all) of the tunes from their debut CD so at this point I think a song by song rundown of the album is in order:

  • "Working out Words"
    - This reminded me of that sort of driving C-86 inspired indie-pop like The Wedding Present.

  • "Push It To Monday"
    - This song has a Walkmen-like organ-drenched rock sound but also features a killer pop chorus.

  • "Tropical Pets"
    - Brooding guitar rock intro that suddenly swells with an assault of organ sounds.

  • "Sugar Laced Soul"
    - Guitar/bass guitar driven melodic indie rock sound.

  • "No Weight"
    - This simply is one of my FAVOURITE songs of 2005, after having heard the mp3 many times. It features a vibrant punctuated guitar arrangement and energetic melodies, complimented by the urgent vocals of Pete Carmichael.

  • "Olympic Island"
    - This song features a delicate distant-sounding guitar intro that leads into swirling drum fills, emotive vocals and a driving organ melody.

  • "Through The Foam"
    - Another melodic, guitar-driven rocker.

  • "Smash The Clock"
    - The opening guitar strains of the song, which are reminiscent of Echo and The Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon", leads into a slightly psychedelic-sounding organ fill, before diving head first into some further guitar rock melodicism.

  • "Golden Gates"
    - This song is a nice melodic closer to the CD. Its ringing guitars, marching-band-like drum fills, and sweeping melodic chorus, reminded me of post-"Psychocandy" Jesus and Mary Chain.

  • This is a damn fine record, even if it's only a brief 9 songs. Like someone said on Stillepost, "Not a dud in the bunch." Seek it out, and ye shall be rewarded.

    Related info/links
    - suckingalemon has photos from the show.
    - The band'll be playing another CD release show(and free admission, btw) on December 3rd in Mississauga ON at The Duke of Marlborough Pub.
    - The Diableros' MySpace site
    - the band's New Music Canada site
    - an older post of Are You Familiar? has some mp3's of several Diableros' songs. Preview at your leisure, but please buy the CD.

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