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Diarrhea Planet - Loose Jewels

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Artist: Diarrhea Planet

Album: Loose Jewels

Label: Infinity Cat

Review date: Jan. 17, 2012

Right about now might be the time to talk about punk’s fondness for the scatological. The Blatz/Filth Shit Split comes to mind, or up the Descendants’ 1986 album Enjoy!, with its cover artwork featuring a roll of toilet paper, and its title track, which takes as its subject the deeply punk-rock topic of farting. All of which is something of a workaround, a method of pointing out that, while Nashville’s Diarrhea Planet may not have the most appealing name in the world, there’s at least a context for it. Though I also suspect that, were I to walk up to the members of said band and begin talking to them about the historical connotations of their name with respect to three decades’ worth of beloved punk bands and albums, they’d tell me to shut up and then hand me a beer.

And that’s probably fine. The 11 songs (really, 10 and an intro) on Loose Jewels, their debut "full-length," clock in at roughly 19 minutes; their default mode for most of them is short and anthemic and shouted. Both “Ice Age” and “Teepee Toes” have soaring guitars and seem to set up epic, crowd-friendly choruses, spawning visions of basement-show crowds leaping toward the microphones, right up until the band moves on to the next song.

The blend of soaring guitars and vocals that push from controlled screams to singalong-ready shouts recalls Dillinger Four’s Midwestern Songs of the Americas, with a bit of Avail and Lifetime thrown in. “Warm Ridin’” falls into the first category, while “Juggernaut!” in particular sounds like a fusion of the second and third bands.

Probably the closest you’ll get to a manifesto comes partway through “Fauser,” the song which closes the album:

    "So give me another beer
    We’re gonna drink until the sun comes up
    Or at least ‘til there’s no beer."

You could call it irreverent, but it’s actually followed by a reference to God forgiving them for “these stupid things,” one of the more casual lyrical references to an omnipotent being since Hamlet 2‘s “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.” It’s an indicator of this band’s willingness to opt for humor as a basis for community. It isn’t the school of punk rock that’s looking to change the world, but it’s one with deep historical roots all the same.

By Tobias Carroll

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