One of the better themes in music, and all art, is the friction between lyrical beauty and lyrical massacre. It's a dichotomy, and nothing's better than the rush that comes when musicians stab a sudden crash of instruments in the middle of a pretty melody.
Dilute, from the Bay Area, mix up the nice with the ominous, the searing with the pleasant, the unexpected with the heart-crushing. They are suspenseful and urgent. Their music is poetic and challenging, with a resonance of conversational vocals (Marty Anderson), subtle blasts of drums (Jay Pellicci), and guitars and bass that lope through pentameter-like lines, then advance, aggressive and complicated (Anderson, Ian Pellicci, Craig Colla).
"It's definitely a conscious decision to make parts that seem to cut into complete chaos or dissonance," says Jay Pellicci of their dynamics. "Then we cut back into something really melodic. It's like yin and yang (dude); you can't have beauty without ugliness. It's all about juxtaposing or, as we like to call it, 'juxterbation.'"
Dilute's "juxterbation" is unique in that they hardly ever repeat ideas, each of their songs completely ballsy entities to themselves. They can play quiet choruses and then hammer loosely into rock riffs or sparse drum solos, but they never rely on melodic familiarity to easily appease the listener. And, like all talented musicians, they realize the need to constantly improve and evolve. Their newest record, Grape Blueprints Pour Spinach Olive Grape, diverges from their last album, The Gypsy Valentine Curve, in that the music is more intense, more complicated, and more compositionally elaborate. "I think that we kind of have a better idea of what we're doing and how to go about doing it [than on Gypsy]. Does that mean that we're more musically 'mature'? I don't know. I think that sounds pretentious," says Jay, searching for some way to explain their evolution. "How about this: we have a 'bigger' sound. Okay, okay, here it is for reals: I think that our songs are becoming more complex than they were on The Gypsy Valentine Curve--and longer, if that's possible."
The longer, the better, when the music hits your heart this hard.