Diners, Domino Review
Diners, Domino Review
Diners’ latest offering, Domino, brings us a landscape of indie rock and pop, where the threads of nostalgia are intricately woven with the fabric of innovation that emerges as a poignant, harmonious blend. Released under Bar None Records and produced by the adept Mo Troper, Domino is a sonic odyssey that has influences from the rich history of rock ‘n’ roll, meandering through the essence of mid-century classics to the spirited vibrancy of millennial indie pop.
Diners’ journey into this new realm signifies a bold departure from their characteristic mellow bedroom pop. Their previous album, Four Wheels and the Truth, flirted with this transition. But Domino dives headfirst, embracing an edgier rock sound with open arms. Recorded at the Trash Treasury in Portland and refined by Jack Shirley’s mixing and mastering at Atomic Garden, Oakland, the album’s technical pedigree is as impeccable as its artistic vision. Nicolette Dolan’s artwork further embroiders the album with indie authenticity.
At the helm, Blue Broderick’s vocal sound and multi-instrumental talents, complemented by Troper and Brenden Ramirez, create a soundscape that is as versatile as it is polished. The opening track, “Working On My Dreams,” is a bold declaration of this new direction. The crunchy guitar intertwines indie-rock and power pop, establishing a robust foundation for the album. Troper’s mastery over distortion brings a dynamic texture to the track, evolving it into a stimulating auditory experience.
The title track, “Domino,” is a masterful ode to the Beatles, not just mimicking but reimagining their legacy through vocal harmonies and the distinctive timbre of a semi-hollow body guitar. The production’s clarity ensures that each layer and nuance is given its moment in the sun.
“Someday I’ll Go Surfing,” the emotional core of the album, and “So What,” with its serpentine melody, draw from the ’60s rock lexicon, infusing it with contemporary sensibilities. “The Power,” the album’s lead single, introduces a Southern rock flair, showcasing Diners’ versatility. The tracks “Painted Pictures” and “I Don’t Think About You The Way I Used To” continue this trend, seamlessly marrying past and present.
The album’s lyrical themes resonate deeply, exploring the concept of success and its many facets. Broderick’s introspective lyrics in “Domino” and the reflective musings in “So What” reveal a contemplation of aspirations and the ephemeral nature of achievement. Her singing style, imbued with more rumination than regret, navigates the complex terrain of unrequited dreams and longing.
The closing tracks, “Your Eyes Look Like Christmas” and “Wisdom,” bring the journey to a poignant end. The former is a piano-driven ballad that strikes a chord with its emotional depth, while the latter’s country-rock vibe concludes the album on a note of fulfillment.
In summary, Domino is a narrative that beautifully binds the legacy of the past with the vibrancy of the present. Diners have not only pushed the boundaries of their sound but have also respected and rejuvenated indie pop/rock traditions. Domino illuminates the path for future explorations in the genre for the Diners, affirming that the golden age of music is not a relic of the past but a constantly evolving, living entity.
August 18, 2023