With all of the energy and presence of a cartoon band belonging to Adult Swim, Diarrhea Planet have exploded (sorry) up the proverbial cubical wall of popular culture with their third album ‘Turn to Gold’. The Nashville six piece had recently made their television debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers coinciding with President Barack Obama’s appearance on the Tonight Show, a coincidence that will no doubt be considered by future historians as this band are obviously destined for great things.
For fans of bands such as The Butthole Surfers, grotesque names may offer a promise of unapologetic punk sensibility, to a larger population of spotify surfers however you can imagine Diarrhea Planet’s namesake could be somewhat distracting. Despite this ‘Turn to Gold’ does not disappoint if you were expecting seriously good music delivered without the seriousness. Tracks such as ‘Bob Dylan’s Grandma’ fuse recognisable tropes of rock n’ roll Americana, ‘Dookie’ era Green day vocals coupled with riffs that would make Rivers Cuomo proud, without taking themselves too seriously. It’s not entirely surprising either to discover Diarrhea Planet perform tracks by artists such as Bruce Springsteen during live shows with second track ‘Announcement’ echoing the Boss’ stadium rock husk.
Although Diarhhea Planet may not take themselves too seriously they appear unafraid of exploring more serious subject matters as ninth track ‘Hot Topic’ tackles the issue of gentrification. It isn’t hard to imagine that such a counter cultural, post-punk outfit from Tennessee has a good handle on the issue of gentrification. The band no doubt pull in audience’s rich in moustachioed, cereal peddling hipster culture. Due to this the track offers a rather unique viewpoint on the occurrence straight from the millennials mouth and the opening line “It’s hard not to feel burned when they’re pushing you out” makes it clear which side of the fence they’re on.
The entire album sounds as if it had been produced after the band found themselves living in a record shop for considerable time, sleeping next to the Punk and New Wave LP’s and presumably using the Classic Rock sections as a recreational space, eating brunch off of copies of ‘Born in the USA’ and using The Ramones ‘Rocket to Russia’ as a pillow. Stretched metaphors aside ‘Turn to Gold’ is brimming with influence but somehow avoids feeling predictable or derivative.
‘Turn to Gold’ is out now on Infinity Cat Recordings/ Dine Alone Recordings
This Diarrhea Planet article was written by Jacob Atkins, a GIGsoup contributor