Disco Doom

Exploding In Sound, 2015

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


When you try looking up Disco Doom online, it is nearly impossible to find any information about them that is not linked to Numerals. It is as if they are a brand new band and Numerals is their debut album.

Actually, this Swiss outfit has been making music since the late ‘90s and has been releasing discs since 2002. More recently, they have opened for the likes of Built To Spill (whose member Scott Plouf played drums on this record), Dinosaur Jr., and Butthole Surfers. It only suffices to say that Disco Doom is somewhat of a seasoned act, even though they have largely been under the radar.

Listening to this album, at least some of the mystery behind the relative obscurity of this band becomes clear. This noisy and psychedelic garage-punk album sounds totally raw and reckless. The songs are deliberately rough and disorderly, having a sound and feel that is anything but well produced. The songs – for example, “Ex Teenager,” “Dead Eye,” “Love 77,” and “Rock Yeah” – aren’t terribly long, and even in their brevity, drift off into droning cacophonous musical tangents that seem to go on and on with very little or no vocals. In addition, lead vocalist Gabriele De Mario sounds dazed, like someone just woke him up from sleep.nbtc__dv_250

But there is something truly genuine in what the band does. Much like the abovementioned bands that Disco Doom has opened for, there is a charm in their careless and chaotic music – a charm that most folks won’t understand, but the few who do will totally appreciate.

At just under 34 minutes, Numerals is short but very eccentric. Its eccentricity goes beyond the impulsive musical wanderings of the aforesaid numbers, which would actually be considered as “normal,” compared to some of the other cuts here. Take for instance the brief instrumentals, of which there are quite a few. On the less eccentric side, is the 1:44 long “Zonk,” which has a desert-rock sensibility and ends the same way as it begins – abruptly, almost as if the band had a time-limit to this song. Then there are the downright surreal piano-based instrumentals, “Window” and “Wanna Go To Rockaway Beach,” which give a meditative perspective to the frantic guitar noises on this album with their hushed piano sounds, played with utmost deliberation. On the farthest side of the eccentricity scale are the instrumentals “Fraction” and “Diamond Corner,” which are quirky soundbites than actual songs.

But within an album that sounds like a total misfit, these dopey instrumental interludes actually work! It might seem like the band does not care what goes into the album, but there is genius behind the madness on Numerals. Disco Doom certainly knows what they are doing here.

It is clear that Disco Doom wants to have fun with their music without giving much thought as to whether it is going to sell or not. Heck, they even acknowledge the crumminess of their website, which appears pretty disorganized, by putting up the note “this website is under construction…forever”: This is the kind of humor of this band, and this is how they treat their music.

Rating: B

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© 2016 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Exploding In Sound, and is used for informational purposes only.