Under Review: Love Of Diagrams – Nowhere Forever

When I first heard Australian trio Love Of Diagrams, I was suspicious of the claims that they were a new band.  The spiky guitars, the prominent bass, the atonal interplay between the band’s vocalists: all signs pointed to some long, lost no wave act.  As it turns out, though, Love Of Diagrams are very current, even if their main influences lie in eras since past (then again, whose don’t?).  Their first album, The Target Is You was mostly instrumental, unusual because bassist Antonia Sellbach’s yelps and hollers made their next album, 2007’s terrific Mosaic really come to life.  Having been dropped by Matador following the release of Mosaic and an accompanying EP, the trio returns to its former home at Melbourne’s Unstable Ape Records for its third album, Nowhere Forever.  At first, Nowhere Forever makes significantly less of a breathtaking impression than Mosaic.  The record is more atmospheric, with fewer overt standouts.  Indeed, Mosaic had moments of noise and shoegazing, but not on the scale that is explored on Nowhere Forever.  Both Sellbach and guitarist Luke Horton take a part in the raucous “Forever,” while Sellbach takes center stage on the equally rocking next track, “Lookout.”  If Mosaic was the group’s own Daydream Nation, then Nowhere Forever is its Rather Ripped: still impressive but less immediate.  This especially holds true for later tracks like “It’s Professional” and “Magnify.”  Just like the groups that inspired them, Love Of Diagrams seem to be moving away from the pulsebeat of punk rock into the charted but still unclaimed region of experimental rock.  With two of their longest songs placed back-to-back in the middle of the record, it’s clear that Love Of Diagrams are achieving their goal of picking up the pieces of classic alternative rock.  Other bands might return to their own roots, but Love Of Diagrams preserve the roots of the genre as if it were their own.  And, in the case of Nowhere Forever, it totally is.


~ by E. on August 28, 2009.

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