Dusted Reviews

dios - dios

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: dios

Album: dios

Label: Star Time

Review date: Apr. 16, 2004

This young, talented quintet hails from Hawthorne, California, the same small berg as their most obvious influence, the Beach Boys. The opener is called “Nobody’s Perfect,” and when listening to it, I almost can feel the sand between my toes.

dios is led by brothers Joel and Kevin Morales on vocals and guitar, respectively, with Jimmy Cabez DeVaca (keyboards), J. P. Caballero (bass), and Jackie Monzon (drums) rounding out the five. Together their sound is equal parts sadness and surf wax, and over the course of their self-titled debut, that appealing mix eventually becomes their weakness.

After the first five or six songs, dios’s talents are apparent. Conversely, we also know what works against them. The album stretches to 12 unfortunately similar songs, and with so little contrast, brevity could have been the band's best friend. The overarching sameness makes it hard to keep track, or remember song titles.

The soft sound of lapping waves ushers in “The Uncertainty,” followed soon by a melancholic piano waltz. dios work hard to establish moods, and in most cases they succeed. The vocals are whispered and delicate, and the melody builds in thirds until it climaxes into a chorus brimming with sunshine and psychedelia. A mellotron plays while an indiscernible vocal sample floats in and out.

A few moments into their fitting cover of Neil Young’s “Birds” the band emerges in unison over a breezy acoustic guitar. It is a lovely move, but the same idea can be found in six other songs…like “You’ll Get Yours,” for example, a foot-tapping romp with a big finale of handclaps, piano, and synthetic strings. Like contemporaries Mojave 3 and Beachwood Sparks, dios are playful and adept with moody, psychedelic beach-pop, but like the aforementioned groups, their music would be improved with greater use of dynamics.

“You Got Me All Wrong” begins with a slow guitar that leads into a chorus replete with organs and heartache. While it’s the best hook on a hook-laden album, the song changes so little that when it cycles through the third time, the thrill is gone. Hopefully, as dios continue to grow, their reverence for the past will subside and take a supplementary role to more adventurous songwriting.

By Daniel Ryan

Read More

View all articles by Daniel Ryan

Find out more about Star Time

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.