After spending time floating through the glorious mess that was Just a Dimension Away, it comes as something of a shock to hear "side a" of Schizo Fun Addict's second outing Diamond. The album is filled with genuine tunes, structured and economically performed, with proper melodies, verses, and choruses. They are still as schizophrenic as ever--tattered around the edges, rabbit-punched by the odd sour note, clawing at transcendence--and far from what one would ever call polished. (Thankfully so.) But almost nothing on the first album, save perhaps for the tortured and eerily transmuted cover of the Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun," would have prepared listeners for actual songs. Nevertheless, right off the bat on Diamond we are given the pretty, sleep-deprived bass-and-piano ballad "Dominion Stungun," a song that exists in the quiet, punch-drunk moment just before the sun peeks over the Eastern horizon. The rest of the album's first half, a beautiful hangover, follows suit--the hypnagogic sermon "Cathedral"; a zombie-eyed dream version of the Guided By Voices classic "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Director"; the sunlit "Halo," a song so gorgeous it spins around your head like fizzy love--before giving way to the brilliantly experimental and exploratory second, a clutter of fantastic ideas. The music shoots out into dozens of different directions, and charts amazing new orbits in the process, starting with "Chakra Tease," another of Schizo's accessibly avant-garde sound collages, a freeform explosion of outside jazz, dark and roiling sci-fi, old-school hip-hop, and the rubber-boned tribal euphoria of the electronic dance underground. Even better are the phenomenal "Now" and "Victory Position," a pair of wholly ambient, Philip K. Dick-ian head-trips loaded with layers of synthesizers and queasy sequencers, as high-quality as trance music comes. At once a light and dark hallucination, Diamond is a prismatic gem.
AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart