I have a feeling that 50 years from now, some gray-haired cultural critic will write a tome on Nashville garage rock of the 2000-teens, and he’s going to start the Diarrhea Planet chapter with “Diarrhea Planet exploded onto the scene with a little experience, a lot of noise, and a lot of pizza.” The word “exploded” will be used not only because of the image in evokes in relation to the band’s nose-wrinkling moniker, but also because in 50 years, when the OED is double the size it is now, there still will be no other word that more accurately describes Diarrhea Planet.
They’re noisy as heck, due in part to the fact that there are six of them: Casey Hodan, Jordan Smith, Mike Boyle, Brent Toler, Evan Bird and Emmett Miller. That’s four guitars, one drum kit, one bass, and one pair of bellicose, throat-ripping vocals. Think of them as a Red Bull-fueled metal band for the millennial generation. They’re Sum 41 for mature listeners; they’re first-headbang nostalgia without the embarrassment of a damp, droopy mohawk from your experimental phase.
Take album opener “Lite Dream,” which totally sounds like a high-speed version of A Flock Of Seagulls’ “I Ran” with heavy guitar scales gliding up and down a waterfall of reverb and pounding drums kicking them from behind. Near the end of the track, the band throws vocals to the curb and focuses solely on how much noise they can wrench from their guitars before something breaks. If there’s one thing DP is teaching us, it’s that the guitar solo isn’t dead yet.
Speaking of guitar solos, “The Sound Of My Ceiling Fan” has them in spades, giving the track a heavily makeup’d Darkness flair. “Separations” and “Babyhead,” the album’s singles, are still its most digestible. They’re equally anthemic in their ability to mix ear-bending guitar racket and chant-worthy choruses. “Kids” is ballad-esque, with glamour-strung guitars and bellowing, pubescent vocals, while “Field Of Dreams,” is filled with hip-shaking pre-teen optimism, and “Skeleton Head” is downright mournful. By “Enter The Great Gate” the growling can get a little grating and one song seems to blur into the next, but this is Diarrhea Planet’s thing—they’re mastering the art of noise pollution inside your brain, but it’s really just a side-effect of unencumbered maximalism.
Sure, their moniker is a little off-putting, and their acronym equally so, but since when do we care what things are called? This isn’t Kate Middleton’s firstborn—it’s an admiringly unorganized attempt at turning it up to 11, where both digits are represented by a middle finger.