'Shroom for improvement...
Appropriately for a band of shroomadelicists, Dios seem like a bunch of fun guys (ker-tish!). Their website
is a phantasmagoria of romantic sunrises and stoopid jokes, like a graphic of loads of little toilets opening and closing their lids. Their T-shirt seller has written a lyrical and highly entertaining account of his tour with them – an odyssey of illness, groupies, uncomprehending nu-metal fans and record-biz scum surfers with “scaly” skin (check out www.ocweekly.com/ink/04/
39/cover-ziegler.php for a look). They’ve produced a fake anti-drug leaflet containing made-up “retirement plans” like: “Jackie would like to
move to Manchester and turn the old Factory building into a magic store.”
Five slackers based in Hawthorne, California (from where, as the sleeve of their CD points out, The Beach Boys also came), Dios have already released one EP featuring the enjoyable, Beck-esque ‘Some Alcohol’, unfortunately not included here. This, their debut album, spreads their slow-burning psychedelia across 14 tracks.
It wears pretty thin over a course this long. While ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and ‘You Got Me All Wrong’
are authentically and memorably tuneful, other songs reveal Dios to be West Coast psychedelia’s equivalent to Ikea. Their songs are serviceable, accessible and respectable in appearance, but
are ultimately a cobbled-together approximation
of someone else’s classic design. This becomes glaringly apparent when Dios cover [a]Neil Young[/a]’s sublime ‘Birds’ and make it sound exactly like everything else on the album – full of the sunbaked, soft-headed torpor brought on by
too many summertime spliffs. The incorporation of [a]Beach Boys[/a]’ ‘You Still Believe In Me’ into ‘Fifty Cents’ makes their deficiencies even more obvious.
The arrival of iPod culture means that the
greats of the past now go toe-to-toe on burned CDs and playlists with their descendents, who have to be good enough to withstand the comparison. Having bought an iPod recently,
I was fooling around with it when [a]Velvet Underground[/a]’s ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ suddenly boomed through the headphones. Despite this having been approximately the 345th time I’ve heard it since the age of 15, it still seemed pregnant with brilliance and some kind of eternal truth, despite half the people involved in making
it being long dead. The flash, totally transient
new technology only emphasised the permanence of the art itself. Why don’t we ask as much of today’s pop stars? Sorry Dios, but recycling
Dad’s record collection is no longer enough.