Of all the local bands that I’ve had more than a passing interest in, Diploid is probably the one of whom I’ve missed the most gigs. Work, transport, motivation and good ol’ laziness reasons aside, the reason for this might be because of an old disdain I’ve tended to have for grindcore as a genre – never liked it as a snobby prog-loving teen, still aren’t familiar enough with it to call myself a fan now. I don’t know what it is, but what little grind I have sat down and listened to, with what I hope what was an open enough mind, just never really did it for me. I do appreciate the immediacy of the music and the general disregard for musical conventions, but for the most part it’s just never done anything for me on an emotional level.
But Diploid isn’t really grind, are they? And I’m not saying this to put down the genre more than I already have, it’s just that Diploid has never really struck me as that type of band – owe it more to my ignorance of the genre, but most grind bands I come across tend to get lumped together. Not Diploid, though, and mostly for superficial reasons. One of which is the tags they’ve chosen for themselves on bandcamp, such as “90’s screamo” and “experimental,” and another would be the set-lists I’ve noticed them on, which have included some sick local acts as diverse as Cascades, Plyers, Space Bong, and We Set Sail. But the chief reason why this is the case for me is their inclusion on the Art as Catharsis roster, off which I’ve discovered a good few of what are now some of my favourite bands.
Everything Went Red, like most of the other Diploid releases I’ve listened to, comes across more a collection of noisy, paranoid musical sections that all sort of bleed into each other to give us… well, not songs per se – more like noisy, unsettling interludes. Every track offers something a little different, while the album still manages to come together with a cohesive sound and style. For those, like me, who appreciate their music to be a little (or a lot) more structured, this might prove to be a bit of a turn off at first, but upon repeated listening, the album really starts to feel like it makes sense, especially approached as a single song in multiple sections.
The overall sounds seems very rooted in grind, but it frequently switches things up, incorporating elements of doom, black metal, industrial and screamo, often within the same short track. Occasionally, it branches out even more, such as with the opening riff of “Birth”, which might make My Bloody Valentine proud, or the pure industrial mess of the brief but terrifying “Suffering Immense Pain Before Death”. The industrial and noise aspects of the album are a standout part of the experience, helping contribute to the dark atmosphere without ever feeling tacked on or synthetic. I particularly liked how the noisy static, scrapes, shuffles, and occasional background bleep-bloops seemed to get heavier and more prominent towards the back end of the album, eventually bringing us to the gloriously noisy closer, “Nocturnal“, and also featuring prominently in another standout track, “Severed“. Also woven in throughout the album is a recurring monologue by a man who recounts what turns out to be something of a depressing, probably domestic dispute. I don’t know if it has anything to do with any of the lyrics on the album, and really, it’s not much of a reveal. It sure helps add to the atmosphere, though, so I won’t spoil it here.
Overall, there really isn’t much about the album that I don’t like. The music, production, performances, are all perfect, and the more I listen to it, the more it starts to come together as a cohesive aural experience. It successfully avoids most of the pitfalls that make grind such a difficult genre for me, and at 27 minutes, it’s a fairly easy listen as well. It’s probably not the album that’ll turn me into a raging grind fan, but it might be one that I’ll use to justify digging deeper into the genre at some point, and that makes it great. And I’ll probably end up going to the next Diploid gig, too.
Pre-order Everything Went Red now!