Words by Brian Salvatore
It is fitting that Turn to Gold came out during an election year, because Diarrhea Planet are uniters, par excellance. The band, which synthesizes punk, classic rock, and metal into a raucous kick to the gut that leaves the listener shaken. This is the music of frenzy, and something that most music fans can something within. This is big tent rock and roll.
The album, which is more polished and produced than their previous two records, is a tour through the music that blasts out of car speakers and rattles the china from the basement for kids all across the world. There’s no pretension here whatsoever, and the band – with its four guitars and three vocalists – is both impressively shambolic and tight in places, with no moment feeling less than supremely confident, but also on the verge of collapse at any moment.
The album begins with a tone-setting instrumental, before steamrolling through nine short slabs of rock. “Ain’t a Sin to Win” is a song that could’ve been produced at any point in the last thirty years, either on a German metal record or a self-pressed punk single. “Life Pass” and “Hot Topic” sound like the best songs you heard at a house party during college, with guitarist Emmett Miller’s “Bob Dylan’s Grandma” splitting the record in half with the most melodic piece on the album. That song also has the most in common with pop-punk, a genre that is having a strong comeback lately, and which the band adds to their sound naturally.
But it is the final song, the nearly eight-minute “Headband” that defines the sound of the record. Dueling guitars, pounding drums, thundering bass, and intense vocals that build and build to a big finish to both the song and the album. The song feels like a release, and specifically, recalls the last song of a great concert. As the distorted guitars ring out for the last thirty seconds or so, you can recall the doors of a venue opening, stepping out, covered in sweat, ready to face the world a changed person.
‘Turn to Gold’
© June 10th, 2016
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