Top Sounds - D

DEALING WITH DAMAGE - Ask The Questions {Little Rocket} PODCAST PLAYED Debut long-player from Ed Shred’s latest project  and if the debut single ‘Don’t Give Into Fear’ set the tone, the album amps it up to make one of 2020’s best releases. 14 songs that kick off with the surprisingly melodic ‘Stop Everything’ that features natty guitar lines and and a strong chorus, as does ‘Some Colours Never Fade’. ‘No Money In Peace’ follows and displays Ed’s more recognised Dischordian influence. Plenty of highlights be it the far-too-short ‘Language Lesson’, ‘How Much Will We Let It Affect Us?’ that almost dips its toes into Psychedelia in a similar way GOVERNMENT ISSUE did, ‘Sharkbait’ that pivots around a bass-heavy riff, a spiralling guitar lead and includes some great backing vocals and the rage of ‘No Barriers, No Protection’ while best track could well be ‘Slow Shadow’ that pivots around another vaguely psychedelic backing but this time played with the taut, rhythmic combustion of FUGAZI and bands of the Revolution Summer era. A really accomplished album once again from Ed and one that is pretty much unlike any other of the bands he’s been in. Sure, there’s bits of CHOCOLATE, bits of SINK, bits of BIG RAY (see ‘For Barbara Dane’) but ultimately this is DEALING WITH DAMAGE and all the better for it. (29.01.21)
DIAZ BROTHERS - s/t {Boss Tuneage} PODCAST PLAYED A new name, but some very familiar faces! This is basically HDQ with former SHUTDOWN/ THIRTY SIX STRATEGIES guitarist Neil Cox filling the (rather large) shoes of the late, great Dickie Hammond. You get ten tracks, not a duffer in sight and written with energy, class and genuinely inventive structures (check ‘Scorched’). The sound is a fusion of DAG NASTY, MOVING TARGETS and SAMIAM with a British twang - business as usual then for these former HDQers. Best tracks? Each one could make its own claim but opener ‘All Of You’ instantly grabs the attention with those great vocals of Golly’s and some seriously good guitar interplay, ‘On Memory Hill’ is rather reflective and could be one of a few songs about Dickie Hammond and the urgent ‘Empty Bar Stool’ that features some stellar backing vocals (as does closer, the politically biting ‘This Hating Nation’), while the highlight is probably the searing “Heaven Knows’ that sees bassist Max Hakius show some great moves under the barrage of guitars. Awesome stuff that’s produced boldly with a lot of clarity and space, vinyl comes with a CD and, I guess in a perfect world all bands would be this great. In this imperfect world, well, we need to be hugely grateful for the few bands that are as good as DIAZ BROTHERS. (27.02.21)
DZTN 1980 - Don’t Give Up {DIY} Lord - Dustin has released, I think, four albums and this six-track EP in the space of a year. It’s been good stuff generally - but maybe just a bit more restraint could see the songs even stronger? Anyway - these six tracks are short with only the dark but pessimistically optimistic closer ‘We Wanna Believe In Something’ breaking two minutes. This could be the closest he’s got to doing something like ABOLITIONIST since the band split with the guitars being distorted and drilling (check out ‘Time To Dream Big’ to hear some sinewy, snarling guitars) and the drums being less ‘obviously’ electronic than on his previous solo releases. Highlight for me is ‘(They’re In) A Trance’ that careers on a snappy riff with a stunningly sneering vocal delivery. Another totally enthralling and captivating release - no idea whether he’ll be able to keep this level of work (and inspiration) up in 2021, but let’s hope so.  OK - two more albums to listen to. (09.01.21)

Hit HERE for material reviewed prior to 2021 including:
DAGGER MOUTH, THE DAMNED (2 reviews), DANGER!MAN, THE DARTS (2 reviews), DAVE SMALLEY AND THE BANDOLEROS (2 reviews), DAYS N DAZE, DEAD ENDING, DEALING WITH DAMAGE, DECENT CRIMINAL, DELINQUENTS, DEPARTMENT S, DEVIL'S ELBOW, DIRECT HIT, DIRTY BURGER, D.O.A. (3 reviews), DOLLYROTS, DOMESTICS/ Pizza Tramp split, DOTS, DOWN AND OUTS, DR. BOOGIE, DROOGETTES, THE DROWNS, DUSK and DZTN 1980 (2 reviews)