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Swings & Roundabouts (album sampler) by Terra Diablo

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Reviewed on 14th March 2004.


Swings & Roundabouts (album sampler)

By Terra Diablo

These tracks are from Terra Diablo's soon-to-be-released debut album on Zuma.

Terra Diablo are a kind of Glasgow cross between Leeds bands Four Day Hombre and Parisman - in that they operate at a similar near-breakthrough level and get serious local respect. They have been supporting Snow Patrol on the current tour. But on the strength of this sampler they have less recognisable individuality than either of the Leeds bands and nothing at all in common with Snow Patrol. They seem to be pitched into the middle of the "rock" terrain with an eye on big live audiences and not much concerned with genre splitting or cult generation.

"Swings and Roundabouts" has a catchy/cute opening but is otherwise a bit indistinct generic pop/rock. The promise was to wander off somewhere scary, but it pulled back to a conventional tune with quality harmonies and fairly predictable big guitar/bass/drums assault. The one novel feature is a series of complete stops that crop up during the final minute. Stops are a normal rock "drama" device, conning the audience into gulping a breath before pummelling them below the belt with the next bar at full volume. But in this case the trick is achieved by cutting the audio track from full-on to zero rather than having the band hold their stuff humming but unplayed. It is not a very comfortable effect.

Companion track "My Crutch" is offered as a "demo". I guess they plan more studio wizardry. But my gut feeling is that a more natural live rasp would suit the band a bit better. The song itself has no outstanding features, but starts in an arrestingly nagging way with punchy chords that provide the main theme for the rest of the song.



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