Monday, November 5, 2012

The Love Dimension (Warrior Monk)



The musical movement that produced such Bay Area bands of consequence as Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, the Charlatans, the Beau Brummels, Harpers Bizarre, the Youngbloods, Count Five, the Syndicate Of Sound, the Great Society, the Grateful Dead, the Sopwith Camel, Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape and others of similar intent all had a common thread that stood in striking contrast to developments in rock music elsewhere. Aside from the distinctive “tin roof with sound baffles” sonic quality that frequently characterized the production values of their recordings, many of these bands encouragingly professed a healthy regard for the most diverse of musical pioneers. Conversely, a number of their counterparts elsewhere seemed paradoxically determined to eschew creative autonomy and instead pander to the lowest common denominator via the façade of self-indulgence.

Taking their cue from the aforementioned healthy perspective (as did the equally charismatic Elvis Perkins In Dearland in recent years) is the Love Dimension (Jimmy L. Diaz - lead vocals, guitar; Celeste Obomsawin - vocals, percussion; Devin Farney - keyboards; Nick Marcantonio - bass; Jesse Olswang - drums). In their forthcoming Forget The Remember album (recorded from August through December 2011 and scheduled for 20 November 2012 release), the ambitious and inspiring San Francisco-based quintet showcases eleven originals that draw from the most diverse of inspirations, from psychedelia (the aptly titled, upbeat Bound To The Sound) to classic country (Hold On Or Let Go?).

Encouragingly (and perhaps in part commensurate with their individual circumstances), the Love Dimension does not hesitate to defer to the like minded accomplishments of others. Witness the relentless optimism of Down The 101, a fascinating hybrid of the dynamic tension of the Last’s L.A. Explosion (Backlash BLS003) and the Underdogs’ Surprise, Surprise (Hideout 1011). In turn, the high drama of Uma Coisa Linda takes its cue from the vacillating tempos of Grand Funk Railroad’s Anybody’s Answer (from their On Time album on Capitol ST-307), with the results acknowledging solidarity with the aforementioned Bay Area pioneers, if not sympathy. The straight ahead garage rock exuberance of Live Divine adequately underscores the point.

While of course geography is only at best of peripheral concern in terms of assessing the aesthetic merits of a given work, suffice to say that the Love Dimension has followed their instincts and has produced a highly original album that has been inspired by the high standards of those who have preceded them. While they may indeed be Bound To The Sound, it is indeed reassuring to realize that theirs is a mission statement with (in their own words) A Human Heart.

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