steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Diane and the Shell

"The red EP" CD

EdWood Records

Genres: instrumental rock, indie rock, post-rock

EdWood Records
Via Lombardia n.31

Jul 19 - 25 2004

"The record contains long and cold winters, places of memory, and other bullshits... That's all." (from The red EP's press release)

Succinct, and to the point.  I liked this record before I even took it out of its (delightfully designed) slimline case.  When it finally got into my stereo, I was surprised to discover a remarkably enjoyable - and predominantly instrumental - album.  Diane and the Shell work with a nice array of instruments - bass, drums, organ, glockenspiel, guitar, and occasional vocals - to create gradual, melodic instrumental soundscapes.

The fun starts with "Different Shapes of Scandinavian Landscape," a fine piece fueled by a twinkling glockenspiel part.  It is a charming tune, though its lack of hooks may become a barrier for some less patient listeners - sparse, half-sung vocals do add some accessibility.  "Gregor," similarly, emphasizes the glockenspiel, whereas the band's self-named epic, "Diane and the Shell," is a rolling, six-minute-plus keeper.

This album is a bit uneventful, though all of its tracks are worth hearing.  Live, these compositions would be amazing; on record, they are simply engaging, listenable pieces of instrumental indie rock.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]