Damiera

Quiet Mouth Loud Hands

Written by: PP on 18/09/2008 12:52:12

Damiera's "M(US)IC" was one of my favorite albums when it was re-released early last year, but unfortunately the band decided to break up shortly after, triggering disbelief in the legions of fans the band made with their debut. Something about that album just clicked with many, whether it was the immeasurable passion by the dudes behind the instruments or Raymond's innovative vocal work, which together made that album so good - so good that received a 9 rating in our scale - and news of the band getting back together to write another record were received with joy at least by the undersigned.

However, the release of "Quiet Mouth Loud Hands" proves that I shouldn't have spoken too early, especially when the only former member left is vocalist Raymond and all instruments have since then been replaced. Aside from maybe "Image And Able", the largely experimental guitar/vocal interplay is long gone, replaced by a wholly different sound, a much looser, and to my dismay, much less intense and passionate sound. It's as if the band is missing the same energies that surrounded them when the old lineup was still intact, so this will come as quite a shock for any old Damiera fan. A song like "Teacher, Preacher" has a strange R&B-esque beat and an all too mainstream chorus. The title track's verse vocals are all too weak and easily dismissable, even if the chorus is alright in the song. Similarly, "Weights For The Waiting" lacks energy almost completely in the beginning, and although it offers a small flavor of what the band sounded on "M(US)IC" afterwards, it suffers from the (lack of) production, leaving the sound slightly echoing and definitely passion-less.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but the reality is that "Quiet Mouth Loud Hands" is nowhere near to be on par with "M(US)IC", it's about a dozen degrees on the wrong side of the thermometer. It must be added though that while "Nailbiter" and "Image And Able" are like day and night from the band's old material, once you get over their massive transformation, you'll notice that they're pretty sweet songs, especially strong on the chorus department. But it's songs like "Chromatica" and "Blinding Sir Bluest" which destroy any worth this album might have had for any old Damiera fan... these are alternative rock songs, not exactly the most experimental kind of music out there. Alas, "Quiet Mouth Loud Hands" is worth checking out, but it's a huge disappointment, a sophomore slump of the worst kind.

6

Download: Nailbiter, Image And Able
For the fans of: Portugal. The Man, Moneen
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.06.2008
Equal Vision

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