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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Dios - We Are Dios

Dios - We Are Dios
2010, Dios

Joel Morales (Guitar/voice); John Paul Caballero (bass); Edwin Kampwirth (keys, percussion) and Patrick Vasquez (Drums) are the four pillars of Los Angeles musical madness mavens Dios. Combining the musical sensibilities of Brian Wilson at his most psychedelic with the Pop Culture Post-Modern Suburban American Junk Culture of 21st Century Hawthorne, California (home of the Beach Boys), Dios present their third album, We Are Dios, rife with psychedelic intent, stylistic inconsistencies and occasionally harmonies that will make Beach Boys fans think they've died and gone to Heaven. Where the Beach Boys sang about the simple pleasure of Southern California in the 1960's before descending into madness (Smile), Dios were raised in madness and try to make sense of it in the ten songs on We Are Dios, wrestling with illicit substances, personal demons and the idiocy of modern life.
We Are Dios opens with the stunning vocal harmonies and bare instrumentation of Epileptic Tunnel Visions. The harmonies here would make Brian Wilson proud, but Dios is dark and moody where The Beach Boys were bright and effusive. Ojay will sneak up on listeners, combing Progressive and Glam elements with modern Pop/Rock feel. The song seems like it's out of phase at times, but works. Toss My Cookies relies on atypical song construction and a sort of late Beatles/Pink Floyd musical psychosis. Dios strips down for Star At The Wheel, going with a Lo-Fi Garage sound wrapped around a big guitar riff. Tel Mi Theen finds Morales in his best voice in a smooth and well-tempered song that sounds hauntingly familiar.

Dios goes wonderfully psychedelic on Ay Don Wanu Meri Yu, shifting tempos, keys, signatures and even compositional focus at seemingly random intervals while blending quirky Pop, Prog and Glam. Don Be Efrey Du Die is strong reminiscent of Detroit rockers Talley Hall, wallowing in psychedelic slow-core Pop dressed in darkly beautiful minor keys. O Don Fil Baad drips with either irony or satire; a condescending and melancholy song wet with a mellow-yet-peppy arrangement. Dios closes with Et Weel Fil Gud, a bit of minimalist psychedelia that's a gentle goodbye that's both self-contradictory and disturbing.

Dios draws our attention back to Hawthorne, California five decades on, in a different world. The beach has gone corporate and the neighborhoods have changed, but Dios manages to pay homage to history while floating into the twenty-first century. We Are Dios establishes Dios as a force in psychedelic rock. In the 1950's Rock N Roll was fueled by a young generation whose parents and grandparents came across the pond. In 2010 the sounds may just as easily be fueled by a young generation whose grandparents came across the Rio Grande, the Gulf Of Mexico, etc., but the sound that emerges is as uniquely American as it was in the days of the Beach Boys, even if the sounds and the times have changed.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Dios at or We Are Dios is tentatively scheduled for release sometime in early 2010. Keep checking Dios’ website for further information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of this album and it's cosmic. It's gonna blow yer minds.

(I got it legitimately from the band/buddyhead, I didn't pirate it.)