DIE SO FLUID – NOT EVERYBODY GETS A HAPPY ENDING (PAROLE 2008)

REVIEW BY KASSU KORTELAINEN / MARCH 2008

The first time I heard of Die So Fluid was back in 2006. I got a call from one of my friends who asked me to accompany him to go and see this really good british band that was about to throw a gig in the local pub later that week. I had my doubts whether I would have time or energy to go to see a band I’d never heard of, in the middle of a working week to a pub that I would need to take a lengthy walk in chilly autumn rain to reach. To persuade me further, my friend sent me a link to DSF’s music video of the song ‘Spawn Of Dysfunction’ from their likewise labeled debut album. About half way through watching the video I knew I had to see this band. The next day I went out and bought the album, and later on that week went to check out the gig in question. The steel hard first impression I received with the ‘Spawn’ video never went away but was reinforced with the high energy live delivery and the array of excellent songs.

I hope I remembered to buy my friend a pint to thank him for the recommendation, he sure would’ve deserved one…

Describing the music and style of Die So Fluid is a futile task. You could namesdrop the elements that make up their music… metal, punk, grunge, pop… but that would hardly summon up any faithful imagery of their music. Comparisons made with other bands would probably prove even more pointless. Shortly put, Die So Fluid is one of those preciously few bands you really need to hear to know what they’re all about. And when you do, chances are you’ll be hooked for good. In the world of music nowadays, that’s not all too common, so the effort made to check Die So Fluid out is time well spent.

The debut “Spawn of Dysfunction” showcased DSF as a powerful, addictive and energizing three-piece, fronted by the charismatic lead lady Grog whose vocal variations from softly seductive melodic lines to bile spewing aggressive shrieks laid the groundwork for a very solid album that should’ve secured the band a place in the brighter spotlights. Due to whatever reasons, the big breakthrough vaned behind the horizon and the expectations “Spawn of Dysfunction” had conjured were piled up for the anticipation of their follow-up album.

After a long wait of a couple of years, it’s here and the time has come to literally face the music to see whether DSF’s new ‘Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending’ is worthy to launch the band onto the next level.

As much as I liked ‘Spawn’, ‘Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending’ sees the band geling tighter together and the songs form a more united, yet pleasantly diverse package. The Die So Fluid sound has been refined to a state that allows variations between styles, but still bears an unmistakable DSF feel from the beginning to the end. Guitarist “Mr. Drew” Richards’ axework and Al Fletcher’s pugnacious drumming construct excellent songs on which singer/bassist Grog’s vocal melodies fit better than a glove.

The songs on the album were recorded on separate occasions, and I guess that’s been one of the reasons why the ideas on each one sound fresh and the album doesn’t circle along repetative paths. ‘Gang of One’ unleashes the album with what is either a good introuduction to the band for those unfamiliar with them or a long-awaited “welcome back” to the fans recruited with “Spawn”. Driven by Mr. Drew’s heavy, doomy riff and graced by Grog’s fine melodic vocals that morph into a more aggressive shape as the song proceeds, ‘Gang of One’ has all the aforementioned DSF gimmicks applied to it in a great fashion.

The more or less sudden, and thoughtfully applied tempo changes in songs are one of DSF’s definite strengths. The song could proceed in a pictoresque soundscapes of elusive tranquillity before exploding into a blazing hot riff assault or switching the gear to a punishing punk frenzy or a metallic banshee blast. Good examples of these inner-song transitions can be heard for example on both single cuts, ‘Existential Baby’ and ‘Happy Halloween’. Fierce material.

But that’s far from all. The instantly hooking ‘The Kiss And Then The Kick’ is a pop song possessed by evil. It’s one of the top songs on the album, not least beacuse of it’s tendency to stick in your brain and trying to escape through your lips during the following days. On the other side the menacing grip of ‘Vorvolaka’ or the raw emotion of ‘Throw You Away’ portray a darker, almost hypnotic feel to them. Meanwhile, “Something To Say” brings on an in-yer-face punky aggressiveness that adds flavour to the mix, although as more unoriginal sounding it’s the only song that slightly drags behind the rest of the material.

A special mention has to go to Grog’s vocal performance. Thanks to writing the lyrics from personal experiences, she adds different emotions to the songs very convincingly. Bolting from fragile beauty to vengeful wrath within a song is a tough trick to pull off, but Grog really manages to do it. And as another example, the feel of heart-shattering desperation she applies on ‘Throw you Away’ stuns you with it’s raw emotion.

Die So Fluid doesn’t let down with their new album. It manages to meet all the expectations caused by ‘Spawn of Dysfunction’ and more. The songwriting is damn near ingenious most of the time and has that special touch of uniqueness most bands struggle to find for their whole excistence. Add to this good musicianship, suitably bitter and twisted lyrical content to be portrayed with credibility and a singer who can do that. If you know Die So Fluid go give ‘Not Everybody…’ another spin. If you don’t… to the record store! Go, go, go!

5k

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1. Gang Of One
2. Test Confessional
3. Existential Baby
4. The Kiss And Then The Kick
5. Happy Hallowe’en
6. Vorvolaka
7. Pigsy
8. Something To Say
9. Throw You Away
10. Swam Beneath Me
11. Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending

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About Kassu Kortelainen