DIYSCO is, at first, a fun, noisy little bag of excitement. It is full of imperfections and idiosyncrasies worn proudly and loudly. It would be hard to find fault with an album which seems to take such delight from being giddy. Honestly, you would be forgiven for thinking the first half of this album had been pieced together after a night out; but when its lushness and exquisitely infectious moments of class shine through the chaos, it really takes on a life of its own.
Even the nearly-but-not-quite-a-ballad ‘Maro Rides the Wave’ is a party song and has so many elements of fun in it that the lyrics seem out of place amid the cowbell and slap bass – “Courage is knowing what to feel…” is like a drunk friend telling you how great you are on a night out when you are already in the middle of laughing your arse off at something else. And ‘Looking Up the Skirts of Giants’ is two-and-a-half minutes of bouncing fun yet still manages to showcase Annie Tierney’s otherwise bittersweet and masked voice.
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’, on the other hand, may initially appear to be a bit out of place on here. Minimalism taken to extremes, and it isn’t helped by being sequenced between far stronger tracks. ‘Horses with Melting Eyes’ is like gothic glam-rock and drives home just how effective the band be. But it can also be argued to be the perfect B-Side moment. The album takes a sharp turn away from the high-octane frivolity of the first half and becomes a slightly more serious affair. Less Tom Tom Club and more Fever Ray, albeit Fever Ray with a less exclusively bleak and gloomy outlook. Although with that said, ‘The Changeling’ sounds as if Todd Edwards found his way into the Tom Tom Club mastertapes and went a bit flahulach with them.
It is fair enough to suggest that the second half of the album isn’t as instantly accessible as the first, and this means that it possibly doesn’t exceed the success of their eponymous debut – which in itself would be some achievement. But DIYSCO is still a good album with plenty of cheery, up-beat moments. Just not as many as some may wish. Successfully following up Tieranniesaur was always going to be a challenge and, in many respects, the band have done a fine job of achieving that. It is no big deal, but it is a shame when DIYSCO appears to run out of steam in its second half. When the first half is so perfectly lightheaded as to make the listener feel like they’re in some kind of shitfaced dream, maybe the second half is all about the hangover.