The idea of a ‘super-group’ is always a little over-hyped for me. The notion that musicians from one band can play with musicians from another band sometimes seems to be greeted with some surprise and amazement. That’s not to say that such endeavours should not be welcomed, just that… well… people like to collaborate, and the more that this happens arguably the better.
This is certainly the case with ‘DDT’ (Dieter, Duvall and Taibi), a band comprising Michael Dieter (formerly of White Manna, although he plays on their new album), Andy Duvall (drummer with Carlton Melton) and Anthony Taibi (guitar player from, White Manna); Rich Millman (guitarist from Carlton Melton) also features heavily on their first album ‘Enter The Bend’.
It’s fair to say that with that line up expectations are going to rise, but you also hope… because these guys are operating outside their more regular bands… that they are also going to serve up something different… otherwise what’s the point right?
Well ticks all around because while you would say that there are things here that fans of both White Manna and Carlton Melton would dig, there is also something else to explore here as well. From the overture-like introduction of ‘Sunpatch’ which almost sounds like DDT tuning up and getting into the groove, straight into ‘Silence is Poison’ which just fires you off into this new territory… loads of echo and reverb and a drum beat that just feels so clear and solid as all around it seems to melt into the ether. This is continued into ‘Mom’s Song’ which is simpler and more defined… but defined for me by the relentless drumming.
Elsewhere things get even heavier, with the slow yet dense ‘Up and Over’ a track which moves at almost glacial pace, yet with the same heft. In a similar vein is ‘The Eucalyptus Line’, this time with an added bonus of an absolutely killer guitar line laid over the top… like most of the tracks here this is mesmerising, only perhaps a bit more so.
‘Natural Speed’ manages to have both space and intensity, and combination that sounds counter-intuitive but achieves it, bringing to mind the slow silent movement of a massive asteroid darkly, yet menacingly, drifting through the great emptiness of space.
A different sort of astral travel awaits with ‘Painted Wind’ which, for me, has a real spacey vibe to it which takes you both out into the unknown… I really like the vibe that this track creates, and could probably listen to it on repeat for quite some time.
This finally brings me to the track that I am happy to premiere, ‘Multiple Greens’, appropriate given the Brett Savage (Dead Sea Apes) designed cover, and the accompanying , and quite dramatic, green splatter on the Drone Rock Records vinyl.
‘Multiple Greens’ perhaps the best way into the album too because, for me, it is perhaps the one track that for me most clearly displays its provenance. By this I mean that while in no way derivative of either, when you know then it could be regarded as something of a mash up between the bands. But this is your gateway track… behind it lies many other really out there sounds that are going to thrill you, pound you and take you off on vignettes of astral journeys.
Coming back to the ‘super-group’ idea… what you really hope from such ventures is that the sum of what the different musicians bring is greater than their individual parts. I would certainly argue that this is the case with DDT who deliver an album that pulses, beats, riffs and drones its way into your record collection.
‘Enter The Bend’ is available to pre-order at Drone Rock Records.
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