Nearly five years after the release of Human Collapse, French heavy rockers Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel are back with their fourth album Polaris, which is now set for release on April 2nd via Klonosphere.
There are no two LDDSM albums alike and Polaris is no exception. The “dissidents of the dirty motel” are perhaps not quite as scruffy as in their ‘yoof’ (heh!), Polaris seeing the five-piece further distancing themselves from the stoner-driven fuzziness of their early days and embracing more progressive textures and psychedelic moods. Think later-day Baroness jamming some Pink Floyd tunes. Heavy and potent riffs are intertwined with progressive melodies and strengthened by multi-layer vocal arrangements. But they can still rumble!
Recorded at White Bat Recorders by Rémi Gettliffe, Polaris is band’s most daring, dynamic and mature release to date, the fulfilment of the vision that they set to create almost 15 years ago.
LDDSM has been making its mark for 15 years. With an identity evolving over the albums and marked with a characterful sound-mix, the band has also enlivened its productions of live videos for its fanbase. Going beyond the codes of the genre, dismissive of boundaries, the new line-up enjoys seekimg ever more enriching sounds.
After their 2013 horror-movie inspired Arcane gave the creeps to the masses, the French heavy rock five-piece went post-apocalyptic on their third album Human Collapse. It was/is a concept album based on the anticipation of the end of the world as caused by the actions of one man.
On which two cheery notes brings us up to date with Polaris! There’s no doubting the explorative enthusiasm of the band, pushing the boundaries of heavy rock and psychedelia in a constantly evolving way. Less Sludge, less Stoner rock than before, and certainly an unusual band of songwriters/arrangers/soundmixers. Within the post-rock, psych-rock mantle, this album continually morphs, shape-shifts and twists from one style to another. Touches of so many bands, from Asking Alexandria to Linkin’ Park, The Offspring to Metallica, Opeth in their gentler moments, Queens Of The Stone Age – and lots and lots of other – great quality – modern heavy rock bands.
A (very!) brief intro takes you straight into the album’s real opener Blood-Planet Child, which revolves around a great steamroller of a riff with vocals that remind me strongly of Metallic and The Offspring, that lovely balance of power-metal with huge tunefulness. Dark Matter continues that power-play, nicely clean but anthemic vocals reaching out over the top of some soaring riffs and synth. It’s massively melodic whilst being right in yer face! Next up is Blue Giant, which floats in with eerily spaced-out keys and a subdued guitar chord progression before morphing into a fuzzed riff taking you into a dense wall of sound – but still melodic. This is really good!
The Plague again maintains a classy mix of thrashing guitars, soaring lead licks, great vocals a la Offspring, a nice change of pace in the bridge section works particularly well before we dive head-first into the moshpit. This album is an eye-opener to me, it’s nicely structured modern rock, great stuff!
The revelations continue: I love the power that emanates from the drums and bass team, underpinning some wonderful riffing and lead guitar work, all orchestrated by a whole chral approach to the singing – no idea who plays or does what, I’m just really enjoying the total product! Alpha Ursae Minoris pounds along in the best traditions of QOTSA / The Offspring, before Earthrise then slows stuff down in an echoing, cavernous Space-rock epic before cranking up the volume, but quite differently to what’s gone before.
The Key features some truly heavyweight percussion as another quite slow anthemic song unfolds, slabs of chords supporting great vocals but then some wonderfully choppy second guitar work interplays against the basic riff.It reminds me of Linkin Park but with that extra layer of heavy rock guitar on top – works for me!
Just to emphasis that heavy rock angle, Horizon then blasts into your head. Not too heavily but a real wall of sound, before the signature multi-layered vocals belt out the chorus whilst still staying hugely tuneful. Dreamy, floating at times, but with great changes in pace and power. This one’s the longest track at just over 6 and a half minutes, but it feels like its twice the length, it has that feel of a saga in its composition and construction.
The Great Filter brings the pace down again, a very tuneful and heartfelt, poignant elegaic song, a perfect closer to a very strong set of heavy but tuneful, moodily varied tracks. The lead guitar work on this last is particularly fine.
I’d never heard of this lot before today, but I’m so mightily impressed! This band is a seriously tight-knit five-some, wonderfully talented musicians with very nicely constructed compositions. They sort of remind me of Muse at their best but without the histrionics?! But I do keep coming back to a heady blend of Offspring, Linkin Park and QOTSA, it’s that stratospheric level of quality – So enjoy!!