by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Back in December we had the pleasure of sharing DiCaprio's "Dark Water," claiming the band had "tapped into minimalist punk's warm center, built on punchy tangled riffs and skin tight rhythms" but that was merely one piece of the puzzle. The Atlanta post-punk trio have been teasing their debut album I Went To The Mall Yesterday And I Got Sick for nearly a year at this point, but at long last, the wait is over. Set for release on February 21st, we've got an early stream of the album, a record that is sure to give you anxiety as the tension creeps through dark paths and despondent turns. Channeling the dreariest elements of the genre, DiCaprio join the likes of Big Black, Spray Paint, and Parquet Courts, offering their own bleak take on aggressively jagged minimalist punk.
I Went to the Mall Yesterday and I Got Sick is not a "feel good" album. There is no "sunshine" to be found anywhere near. Instead, DiCaprio are mining the depths of outward despair with anti-social anthems and an unflinching pessimistic outlook. They sing of wasted potential, spoiled milk, gaping holes, swamps, and swollen insides. They want you to feel their detached fury together with them, ending songs like "Blank Plague" and "Ectoslavia" with simple lines of resonant devastation; "the grass is never greener, there is no other side" and "endlessly depressing, perpetually in denial, no original thoughts," respectively. Their sound is raw and primal, blending discordant chord progressions with sludgy tempos and stark spoken vocals. The riffs are tight and tangled, dense and strangled, pushing and pulling in rhythmic tension with little concern for melody. Like being buried alive, the dread and doom gets thicker by the moment, driving from nightmare scenarios to equally panicked realities. It's not all lurching however, songs like "Negative Zone" pick up the tempo while closer "Hell Face" sounds nearly dreamy in comparison to all that comes before it.
DiCaprio have created a record that would feel sick from a trip to the mall. Sometimes the light is buried in the shadows. Sometimes all we see around us is ugliness. Despair is real and DiCaprio are here for you.
DiCaprio's I Went To The Mall Yesterday And I Got Sick is out February 21st.