Monday, August 29, 2011

Nick Diamonds - I Am an Attic

01 Attic
02 Gone Bananas
03 Used to Be Funny
04 Word Was Swords
05 Don't Do Us Any Favours
06 In Dust We Trust
07 The Vaccine
08 You Must Be Choking
09 (untitled instrumental)
10 Dream, Dream, Dream
11 Fade Out

Nick Diamonds never takes a break. He started out fronting the psych-pop the Unicorns, moved on to the more ambitious and less combustible Islands, and then came Th' Corn Gangg, his much maligned hip-hop project. After that, we received records from side projects including Reefer and Human Highway. At the moment he's headlining for Mister Heavenly, a recently announced supergroup that also includes members of Modest Mouse and Man Man, and Diamonds just released I Am an Attic, a solo album, by way of his Bandcamp page for a price of your choosing.

While it doesn't come with the pre-packaged, stylistic framework of, say, Human Highway (read: Young, Neil; 1970s folk and country), I Am An Attic does scan like pure Diamonds: whether he's trafficking in serpentine guitar licks or screwballing sound effects and synths, there's an unmistakable sneer to it all. That said, you're also hearing him here at his most muted and still, which doesn't make for as compelling a listen as that might promise on paper. This is an unusually reined-in record, one whose spartan arrangements tend to register more as scraps or free-floating ruminations than exercises in restraint. Take opener "Attic", with its plumes of Theremin, crystalline guitar work, croaked-up vocals, lightly-applied layers of keys and synth: It all seems to appear and then dissolve in just two very forgettable minutes. Diamonds, as it turns out, is most effective when spontaneous. Here, he's sleepwalking.

When he does work up some energy, the results are terrific. "You Must Be Choking" is an at-times majestic and unsettling highlight that, despite cribbing the vocal melody from "Silent Night", does well by working in a few unexpected jolts of volume. "Used to Be Funny" flirts with a "Stairway to Heaven" reference before erupting into a stormy mess of industrial oompah. Interestingly, the recording quality throughout is quite good, forsaking the sort of raw, flash-fried (see also: lo-fi) qualities that you might expect from a potentially free solo record. And though closer "Fade Out" plays into to its title, what's there is ripe: a set of high-arching guitar melodies fan out over a creamy organ track, a sprinkling of bells that mirror at times the sound of Diamond harmonizing with himself. It sounds like an idea that could segue into something

1 comment:

  1. hxxp://

    thanks to LuckyFaggot