Diarrhea Planet

I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

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    8
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Depending on where your head is at, you're either going to pass on a band called Diarrhea Planet based on the name alone or welcome them as a potential new favorite. If you can get past the admittedly gnarly band name and sophomoric aesthetic, this six-piece band from Nashville is actually seriously fun and extremely well put together. The group's sound is caught in a web of different hard rock reference points and classic punk influences as well, with album opener "Lite Dream" starting with a triumphant whirlwind of multiple solos before singer Hodan Dickie excitedly declares "Heavy metal rotting out my brian!!" The song builds upward, sounding somewhere between Judas Priest at their most lively and early Dinosaur Jr. still trying to get the spiteful energy of their old hardcore band, Deep Wound, out of their system. Just when the shredding solos and road-rock drums start to edge dangerously close to parody, the song breaks down into an eerie lull of moody guitar passages, recalling the same mysterious tension of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation and taking the song back down from the edge. Much of I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams feels like this: some sincere and inspired songwriting hidden among histrionic pop-metal trappings or vice versa. Van Halen-inspired shredding and Cheap Trick-recalling blasts of big dumb power pop like "Babyhead" or "Togano" are tempered with reflective and vulnerable moments like the subdued torment of "Kids." When the album isn't showing off its guitar chops or offering up Ramones-meets-Billy Squier hybrid moments like "Hammer of the Gods" and the incredibly fun "Babyhead," its moods get surprisingly honest. The slow-burning "Skeleton Head" is perhaps the best example of this, tucking lyrics about alienation and self-doubt in clouds of melancholic early indie-styled guitars. Equal parts manic fun, party-friendly silliness, and unexpectedly real emotional content, I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams is powerful and light at the same time. The technical playing and nods to the best of heavy metal culture never get so tongue-in-cheek that the greatness of the songs gets buried under posturing.

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