Rewind Review: Diagonal – self-titled (2016)

Chicago-based psych / shoegaze rockers Diagonal play an intriguing mix of both genres.  Their self-titled album, currently only available on cassette or digital download, starts with a meditative, almost ambient, nearly instrumental song called “Aura.”  I listened to this on a frosty northern Indiana morning as the sun rose over harvested corn fields.  It was perfect.

“Wide Eyed” teases you with a bit of drone sludge before breaking into a heavy shoegaze riff.  “Inside Your Mind” is so steeped in psychedelic tea that you can pretty much see rear projection oils when you hear it.  “Where to Go” ups the fuzz and races by you almost before you realize it’s happening (and I love the trippy fade-out).

“Waterloo” is another rocker that puts in enough reverb to almost make it a weird dream that eventually turns into a crazy psychedelic nightmare.  “Come Down” reminds me of early Black Angels material with its distorted yet somehow crisp guitars and lyrics lost in layers of reverb.  The album ends with “Cave” – a loud, wild, feverish freak-out that swirls around you like a tornado full of broken, dead trees and shattered houses.

It’s a solid release, and Diagonal is definitely a band to watch and hear.  They have the chops to be serious players in the psych-rock game.

Keep your mind open.

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