Wednesday, January 6, 2016
On the Ripple Desk - Featuring Despite the Raven, and DM3
Seems I got a thing for Craig Cirinelli. Just about everything I've ever heard from any of his many projects has hit me in just the right place. Whether it's (Damn) This Desert Air, Hidden Cabins or The World Concave, I know what I'm in store for. Complexly arranged, modern progressive rock with layers of melody and a few surprises in just the right places. Despite the Raven is no different. A duo, composed of Craig and multi-instrumentalist Chris Homentosky, Despite the Raven explore a heavier side of Craig's wandering muse. A song like "Man Falls" bursts out of the gate riding the weight of that meaty riff, veering close to stoner/doom in quality. But as expected with Craig's work, nothing is ever as it seems, and "Man Falls" sears through layers of staccato progressive guitar and soaring vocals.
"Where Fear and Courage Meet" follows a similar path, of gut-punching heaviness in parts, balanced by dynamic shifts and open spaces. Muted vocals whisper over the barest of instruments before raging over the mounting crescendo. Very Floyd-esque in all the right places. Progressive rock that never loses itself up it's own ass. Beauty and bleakness. Heavy and Light. "Absentee" may just be one of the heaviest prog songs I've heard in ages, with captivating guitar work, crushing riffs and melodies that won't leave my head.
All in all, an impressive debut for this band. Heavier than much of Craig's prior work, but no less melodic or captivating.
Check em out for yourself.
Big thanks to Alive Naturalsound for getting this CD to me. Perhaps they knew I was a sucker for perfect powerpop. Perhaps they'd read my prior review of The Beat, or my interview with The Records. Perhaps they snuck into my house while I was on the john and perused my record collection. Or perhaps it was just fate that brought DM3 into my life. One thing for sure, I'd never heard of these guys before, but one listen was all it took to hook me for life. Turns out DM3 are anything but new and this isn't a new album but a Greatest Hits of sorts compiling tracks from their catalog released from 1993 to 1998. This Aussie band formed in 1992 by Dom Mariani after the dissolution of his prior bands The Stems and The Someloves.
DM3 specialize in simply perfect, Raspberries-inspired powerpop, with hooks for days, jangling guitars and pure high energy rock n roll. Songs like "One Times, Two Times Devastated," " Something Heavy" and "Give it Up" are instant ear candy and stick to my auditory cortex like bubblegum. Great melodies, killer choruses, it's all here. If you love good powerpop as much as I do, this will be right up your alley. I'm searching high and low to find it on vinyl. In fact, it's so good, I'm scanning eBay to try and find some Stems or Someloves at a reasonable price. Let me know if you find any!