Diesel Park West may not be a household hold name, but their contribution to music has not gone unnoticed. Originally formed in 1980, Diesel Park West have established themselves in the world of indie rock forever. And while their music always sounded a little rough around the edges, they have mastered the combination of an edgy sound while also giving us a sound that is more considered and well-thought-out. It is with this combination that they return with their ninth album Let It Melt.
With a solid beat, “Pictures in my Hall” starts with gumption and is a track that is difficult to forget. With repeating musical motifs and lyrics, John Butler sings over the driving guitar riffs bringing the familiar tone of Diesel Park West and combining it with surfer-rock guitar licks. They move away from their usual sound, making the track sound almost experimental. And while it does lodge itself firmly in your head, it lacks a sense of cohesion.
One of the most well thought out tracks is “No Returned Fare”. Harking back to solid shoegaze days, it is dark, and its lyrics reflect this. Reminiscing on history and how humans are making it worse, this track is both a reflection on the one-way nature of life. It is dark, subtle and weirdly hard-hitting. It is really brought to life, however, with a bass line. It slowly pulls you away from the lyrics and adds a little bit of happiness to an otherwise raw and slightly upsetting track.
With a little more pep in its step, “Bombs Away” has an intro that is foot-tapping right from the start. John Butler’s voice quickly inhabits the realm that typically houses voices like Bob Dylan to produce half sung/half spoken track that shows us another side of Diesel Park West. Tales of grown-up families trying to make their dreams come true and growing old, “Bombs Away” is the highlight of the album.
Let It Fall may be a very close return to former glory, but it misses the mark ever so slightly. The essence of old-school Diesel Park West may still be there. But as grungey as they were before, this album seems more unpolished and seems to have lost its way somehow. On the flipside, Let It Fall is a decent introduction to Diesel Park West and is definitely worth a listen.