Record Review - 3 July 24 2002
Listening to Millions of Brazilians, naysayers might be inclined to dismiss Dianogah as a Tortoise perpetrator. And why shouldn't they? The warm and fuzzy bass lines that meander around each song could've been lifted off any Tortoise release; and, after all, John McEntire did produce it.
But Dianogah frees itself of the instrumental complexities and academic approach to its music. While Tortoise's skills are gushed over by virtuosos worldwide, Dianogah's songs come across as the sonic equivalent of a tall cool one for the working-class post-rocker.
The third offering from the Chicago-based two-bass/drum trio doesn't sound all that different from its last two albums. But it does come across as the group's most accomplished recording to date. The gently tumbling base line and soft edges of "Wrapping the Lamb, Sir" set the mood for the rest of the music to follow. Tick-tock drumming and lazy rhythms string each song together while rarely coming to any defined plateau.
"Maria, Which Has Got Her Heart Completely Fucked Up" shows a playfully complex side of the group by way of multiple starts and stops, and the lighthearted plucking of strings. The somber mood returns with "The Smallest Chilean," rolling over any semblance of a personality with throbbing bass lines so intense they distort naturally.
Millions of Brazilians is by no means offensive, nor is it demanding on the listener. Rather, it's a bit of a painkiller for the dog-end of a day gone by.Dianogah plays MJQ Concourse Mon., July 29.