REVIEW: Dianthys – “Trials”


Gah. I can’t take listening to this Radiohead record one more time. It’s not that it’s bad or that I dislike it at all, but that I’ve spent a lot of time digging into it this weekend, almost like I’m trying to unlock some secret meaning or something. So it comes as a relief to put on the newest by my friend and former bandmate (City of Ghosts) Guy Kelly. His project Dianthys is a realization of a lot of the ideas that he’s carried with him since we played together some fifteen years ago or so. Seriously. Make a dude feel old by talking about a band he was in that many years ago. Get Pee-paw his Wurther’s and get off my lawn.

Kelly is a capable player and offers a lot to the genre of post-rock instrumental indie -a genre that often discourages any wild departures from form- synthesized here into a cohesive whole. Each track plays like a short vignette, like a tiny window into the variations on the theme of instrumental music here. That the average track length measures in at less than two-minutes is a massive shift from the often cumbersome tropes of the genre, which features soaring highs and melancholic lows. You can hear those elements of bands like Mogwai or Mono, albeit mixed in with contemporary electronic and almost hip-hop sounds at times.

It’s a mixed bag, but in the best possible sense. Tracks like Last July or Steel Tubes have an 8-Bit Nintendo quality reminiscent of bands like The Advantage or The Minibosses, which is to say heavily melodic and electronic leaning. Other tracks like Midwest Weekend or Manny Manuel rely on that sort of bittersweet energy that informs bands like Explosions in the Sky or Rumah Sakit. It’s that seemingly endless push to explore that drives the music here in a delightfully cinematic way. While the songs are short in length, each has a life uniquely its own. This is the perfect score to your afternoon adventures, wherever life may take you.

Listen below and get into it.