On June 4th, Toronto band By Divine Right is set to release their brand new album, Organized Accidents. By Diving Right is a solid three piece band made up of José Contreras, Geordie Dynes, and Alysha Haugen. In their press release, the band states:
“Organized Accidents is the culmination of José’s songwriting and production pursuits. A self-indulgent and decadent extravagance of sound, it is nonetheless a romantic study in minimalism. Written and recorded in a forest just outside of Toronto, Contreras has continued his explorations of ambience and deconstruction with a tight knit group of friends, including current BDR members Geordie Dynes (Mark Inside) and Alysha Haugen (Sheezer). This approach is not without its casualties. Everyone involved slept in their clothes at some point. Or in no clothes. Everyone fell asleep standing up. Everyone did something they didn’t think they could do. The experiment was a success.”
I couldn’t agree more. I sat down yesterday to give the album a good listen. Here are my thoughts.
Organized Accidents opens with Past the Stars, a funky bass line and really diverse industrial sounding noises. They have my attention right off the bat. The vocal styles and sound of music are reminiscent of Beck’s Odelay! and Past the Stars definitely has me grooving. The harmonies throughout the song really pull the listener back in. Overall, a really solid start to the album.
Mutant Message, the second track, slows things down a bit and seems to focus more on lyrics and songwriting. I’m digging the variety of different noises and sounds that the band is using: the instrumental bits are really noisy, but interesting.
Little You starts off super cute. There’s definitely a build up in the intro and then José’s lyrics make you smile just when you expect the song to kick in: “This is where the drums should start, but I don’t want to play that part”. Little You is a feel good song, which I tend to prefer, so this is definitely one of my favourite tracks.
The next track, More Thorns, shows BDR’s colour in spades. The individuality that the band possess continues into this track for the first bit, and then I find myself tapping my toe again as the track really kicks in. I love how the vocals on this track keep things slow and mellow, where the drum beat keeps things happily chugging along.
No One Can Fix Me feels like it’s supposed to be one of the singles off Organized Accidents. It’s super catchy and reminds me of a lot of the alternative music that came out in the middle of the 90s.
After the more pop track, By Divine Right switches gears completely with Zombies, a slow etherial and melodic track. Zombies is a bit droney for my taste, and I would have rather heard less effect on Alysha’s vocal track. The instrumental at the end kept me interested, but ended a bit abruptly.
One thing can be said for By Diving Right, they have interesting introductions to each track. Don’t always match to the song, which is the case with the next track, Eating the Ghost. It’s nice to hear the piano added to this track and almost gives it a bubble gum feel, but the dissonance keeps it unique and different.
After getting a bit experimental, By Divine Right jumps even further in to the deep end with Tremolodians. The band have used some really interesting sounds on this one. Super trippy, Tremolodians really takes hold around the one minute mark. I love the flow in the lyrics and the instruments: totally different but equally as powerful and influencing on the song.
The next track, Mountain’s Friend was a bit slow and I seemed to lose focus. With some slower songs at the end of the album, I think I would have preferred something a bit more upbeat. The song picks up a bit around the two minute mark, but I’m really just waiting for it to be over so I can hear what’s next.
Silver Thread starts to pick up the pace again. Armed with a catchy guitar riff and melodic chorus, all the elements on the song tie together nicely.
Despite what I’ve said about slowing down, I’m actually glad that By Divine Right closes off this album with a slow, accoustic song like We F n R. Focusing on the vocals, this track provides nice closure and feel good lyrics that make me smile. With all the etherial slower tracks, it’s nice to have one that has a solid melody.
Overall, a solid album from a solid Toronto band. By Divine Right have a cross Canada tour planned, sadly with no stops in Guelph. If you were lucky enough to catch them last year when they came through town, you may have heard a few of these tracks at the eBar. Hopefully they plan to stop here again soon!
Past the Stars
We F n R
1. Past the Stars
2. Mutant Message
3. Little You
4. More Thorns
5. No One Can Fix Me
7. Eating the Ghost
9. Mountain’s Friend
10. Silver Thread
11. We F’n’R
6/14 Toronto, ON – St. James Park (NXNE)
7/4 Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Loplops
7/5 Thunder Bay, ON – Crocks
7/6 Winnipeg, MB – TBA
7/9 Regina, SK – O’Hanlons
7/10 Edmonton, AB – Wunderbar
7/12 Kelowna, BC – Habitat
7/14 Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
7/18 Calgary, AB – The Palomino
7/19 Ness Creek, SK – Ness Creek Festival
7/20 Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis
8/3 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace