Ben down at Virginia's Funny/Not Funny Records sent me a few of his latest releases including this one from locals The Diamond Center, started in 2007 by Kyle Harris and Brandi Price who finally settled in Richmond and picked up a few more members to record this massive extended playing shoegaze psych single.
A-Side "California" is performed at such a sludgy pace, I was really convinced it could be at the wrong speed until that feathery vocal from Brandi kicked in. It's a great compliment to this doom psyche, just booming. After listening to it a few times I'm sure there's some tape manipulation going on in the beginning, ever so slowly increasing the tempo so that bulk of impossibly somber tempo isn't as shocking.
I'm imagining the slow dips simultaneously from the guitar and bass section are just part of a standard performance.
It's a sweet airy vocal, reminding me of Bethany Constentino's sunny surf delivery, but drawn out, matching the volume of this instrumentation. Making what should be a kind of downer Dead Meadow sound into a happy place. The moments when the rest of the band comes in behind this vocal is just overwhelming. They found this riff and just pound it over and over across the whole side...with Brandi belting out these etherial vocals. Playing with an almost silent middle section, this creepy organ working against a phasery electric, taking things down to an even slower moment. Of course the whole thing comes back stronger than before that clasic rock see saw rattling the speakers. A long running 33rpm side getting completely majestic and impossibly enormous.
B-Side's "Bells" finds another pounding, huge riff arragement to play with, the organ playing a bigger role in the sludge this time. The vocals sound like they might not be from Brandi this time and delivered right alongside this warped electric they almost turn into their own bizarre watry effect...sitar sounding. The drums dropping into just kick and snare, the changes are subtle and come on heavy, a crunchy electric over the chorus becoming that wall of rhtyhmic psych; hyptnotic and repeating. This one is just as epic, lulling you into that false sense of end of the track fade out. This is a panoramic track, taking shoegaze and psych played at volume to deliver another ridiculously massive track.
Get this one on Funny/Not Funny Records:
Funny / Not Funny Records is proud to present The Diamond Center's second foray into wax by releasing the California / Bells 7". Utilizing every inch with grooves, much like the record before it, these two tunes are able to take you on a lush psychedelia filled dreamquest for a swooning 13 minutes. Fuzzed guitars, waning organs, minimalist drum lines, a dualistic yet harmonious approach to vocals, and mastery of dynamics as a whole that only comes from perfect practice all culminate to bring you one of our most epic releases to date. This vision came into being at the Magic Twig Community's Mystic Fortress, the same studio birthplace as our 14th release, giving you, the listener, yet another round of fully realized and quality recordings. Spin this single and transcend into the truth we speak.
These tracks are not from the F/NF single, but you can get an idea: