Sunday, April 24, 2016

Red Returns

Red Returns EP
(Test Pattern)

I’ve not yet had the privilege to see Sacramento four-piece Desario live, but with this terrific new EP, I feel like I’ve been transported into a small dark club hunkered down near the stage completely entranced by their exciting sound.  I’ve already loved their first two albums for some time now and their tight detailed twin guitar interplay has continued to grow on me, but these four new songs feel a little different - a little more urgent and alive.  Where those first two LPs (2009’s Zero Point Zero and 2012’s Mixer) were very cleanly recorded, this recording is grittier.  It’s a mild change up, as they have not lost their knack for stellar guitar melodies from John Conley and Michael Yoas, but now new drummer’s Kirklyn Cox’s pounding is more dynamic and upfront, and the bass-lines crackle like you’re seeing Mike Carr pluck the strings in person.

The EP opens with the timeless sounding “Fallen,” whose chorus, rides atop a burbling bass-line, feels like it’s been a part of my list of favorite all-time songs for years.  Conley’s, always calm and friendly vocals do not betray the turmoil and increasing intensity that the music describes.  It’s a wonderful combination.  Meanwhile, “Capture” opens with a wistful and longing guitar line that harkens back to The Ocean Blue’s incredible “Drifting, Falling.”  The upbeat “Down Among Them” may be Desario’s shortest and most direct song, and much like “Fallen,” the song increases in density and urgency as it progresses.  Finally, the closing, “Red Returns” stretches out a bit, as it details the desire to rid oneself of all memories, contact and feelings of a former or about to be former love (“erase me from you”).  The pounding bass drum beats like a broken heart fighting to go on, as Yoas and Conley exorcise demons and jam out between verses. 

Desario have managed to subtlety tighten their already solid foundation and release their best collection yet.  I sure hope that there is a full length album on the horizon, because I cannot recommend this enough. 

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