Job : Stop reading and just press play. Pay attention because a lot is happening here. Weird voice changers in the choirs and a guitarist/vocalist that packs quite the punch. Stanky riffs followed up by a strong groove. Wait, was that the new vocalist? Was that her? Oh hey, a cello-solo, cool! Wait, what the fuck is going on?! Is this bluegrass?! Am I hearing Elvis?! Oh, we’re back on the pulse again, great. Dude, I can’t stop rocking out to this. And then… MOTHERFUCKING BENNY HILL! Wake up!!
5 long years, the wait took us to get to Diablo Swing Orchestra’s new record ‘Pascifisticuffs’, now finally coming out December 8th. The Swedish swing avant-garde band took their time and it shows: every single song on this album needs your undivided attention just like I described above because all of them are little adventures on their own without sounding like a jumbled mess together. With the departure of (practically) original vocalist Annlouice Logdlund, a lot of opera left the band. What we got back was a new drive and a tremendous freedom in the song writing without having to resort to operetta all the time. The result is a record that’s catchier than anything this band has ever done, and that’s quite the achievement considering that ‘The Butcher’s Ballroom’ and ‘Sing Along Songs..’ were already such bangers.
Let me paint you a picture of the songs: ‘The Age of Vulture Culture’ with its insanely competent high blower trumpet licks. ‘Superhero Jagganath’ with the dirty, diiiiirty 8-strings. ‘Lady Clandestine Chainbreaker’ with the French horns reprising the chorus at the end in an almost hauntingly Medieval manner. ‘Jigsaw Hustle’ with the delicious disco beat. The only opera-esque song ‘Ode to the Innocent’ on which new vocalist Kristin Evegard gets to show that she has more balls than Annlouice ever did. ‘Interruption’ with the nostalgic waltz-swing. ‘Karma Bonfire’ that sounds incredibly similar to ‘Voodoo Mon Amour’ in direction and lastly ‘Climbing the Eyeball’ with its tremendous sluggish vibe and beautiful folky elements in the banjo and string parts. Within these mountains of songs flow instrumental interlude-creeks that, while they don’t get in the way, don’t necessarily add much but have been a thing since the beginning.
This is the prog record of the year, I don’t care what anyone says about Leprous, Sons of Apollo, Ayreon or whatever. This stands atop the mountain of good albums that came out this year, with its feet planted firm into the top, just swinging along like it’s nothing. Go. Listen. To. This.