- - - - - -

Die So Fluid - The Opposites Of Light

Die So Fluid - CD Review
The Opposites Of Light

Die So Fluid


CD Info
United Kingdom
16 tracks
English lyrics

Convention is something that British dark rockers Die So Fluid avoid by nature. Then again, when you’ve been whisking punk, grunge, alternative, and metal together for more than a decade, it’s nearly impossible to fit your music in a specific box. Fans could argue that Die So Fluid’s previous album, 2010’s The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime, was the closest the band had come to producing more commercial music. Yet it still contained a broad range of rock and metal styles as well as the abstract lyrics and electric vocals of bassist / frontwoman Grog that are part of the band’s distinct formula. Now unsigned again (the band confirmed their split with DR2 Records last year), Die So Fluid return with The Opposites Of Light, their fourth album and most ambitious set to date.

The Opposites Of Light presents the yin and yang of Die So Fluid. It’s divided into two parts by style and by name, each half named after Shakura and Pah, the respective solar and lunar deities of the Pawnee Native American tribe. The first eight songs (the “Shakura” half) show the band’s darker, heavier side. Several tracks like “Nightmares,” “Black Blizzard,” and “Carnival” hearken back to the gritty, post-grunge style Die So Fluid had explored in their pre-World days. Other songs take this dense sound and run in different directions. “Crime Scene” cranks it up several notches with a faster tempo and Grog’s roiling wails and screams, while the progressive twists in “You Suffocate We All Suffer” complement the catchy melodies – normally a tricky balance to achieve. “Transition” closes the first act with a muscular yet vocally ethereal climax that would make this track a show-stopping live finale.

The second half of The Opposites Of Light, titled “Pah,” brings out a more brooding, balladic Die So Fluid. Ballads may not excite every rocker or metalhead, but the variety within these songs is astounding. Lush and string-laden (“Echo Of A Lie”), angry waltz-rock (“Falcons”), doom-steeped and meandering (“Dream Sequence”), even a bluesy torch song (“Spark”) – and the gamut doesn’t end there. The more uptempo “Landslides” and “The World Opposite” may be lyrically pensive but are musically edgy enough that they would have suited the record’s heavier first half just as well. The undeniable highlight of this second act, though, is “Spark.” Full of melancholy and longing, it shows Grog’s sensitivity as a vocalist and the subtle finesse in Drew Richards’ guitarwork and Al Fletcher’s drumming. Few listeners would expect rock renegades like Die So Fluid to create such a traditional, simple song. But they have, and that’s one of the many reasons why this love song is so gorgeous.

Returning to one’s musical roots has its pros and cons. With The Opposites Of Light, Die So Fluid unleash more emotion and travel more expansive territory than they did on The World Is Too Big…. At the same time, the new record’s missing the energy and quirkiness of its predecessor. Sure, Grog’s vocal charisma and animated lyrics haven’t gone anywhere, but the faster clip of The World Is Too Big… played up the band’s unique personality and made that record a massively fun experience. Conversely, The Opposites Of Light relies more on Richards’ guitar muscle than on melody and tempo. It feels like a more mature presentation of Die So Fluid and their music. And while I like what I hear on The Opposites Of Light, I’d still reach for The World Is Too Big… first whenever I crave some Die So Fluid.

Then again, we’re talking about one of the most exciting and inimitable bands in female-fronted rock. And The Opposites Of Light shows Grog & Co. as who they truly are: an eclectic, impassioned trio of talented musicians giving listeners dose after dose of “Screw-it-we’ll-play-whatever-we-want-as-long-as-it-rocks.” Fans of the band’s earlier albums (Spawn Of Dysfunction and Not Everyone Gets A Happy Ending) will no doubt be pleased with the new material. And, honestly, anyone who’s partial to The World Is Too Big… will find something to cheer about with The Opposites Of Light. Because, in the end, we all like our rock bands to be rebellious – and with their music, Die So Fluid epitomize rebellion with a fabulously dark way.

Rating: 8 / 10

Highlights: “You Suffocate We All Suffer,” “Spark,” “Transition,” “Crime Scene”

For fans of Die So Fluid’s previous albums as well as fans of hard rock or alternative rock / metal bands such as Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless

The Opposites Of Light will be released on May 5, 2014. Visit Die So Fluid’s BandCamp site to pre-order your copy. Check out Die So Fluid’s Facebook page for more details.