"Volume 1" (E-magine Music; 2000)

Reviewed by Brian Connelly

This ominously named album is introduced with a computer-voice proclaiming the album's title ("This is the Diablo Project"), and from then on gets even stranger. Most tracks sound like Scooby Doo episode soundtracks tinged with hallucinogenic recipes. However, this is about as far as you can get from your typical verse-chorus-verse rehashed musical fodder. This cross between techno, 70s go-go, surf rock and all-around diversity is about as obscure as you will come across.

Songs are anything but "streamlined" or overly produced; instead they waiver in and out of melodies like mood swings and bounce around from style to style like a game of hopscotch. The Diablo Project is an effort in eclectic variety, executing a broad range without a single sample and very few vocals. 

Personally, this record is not my cup of tea; there's no synthesis to it. It's a "project" without a goal, a path, a conclusion or even a thesis. Although somewhat mind-bending, it's not very expanding, and the lack of cohesion makes it hard to really get into, or see much of a point to it. Not to mention a complete lack of any hooks, grooves, or catchiness equates the first half of this record to a beer lover's dark ale; only a true fan could find anything other than aesthetic enjoyment out of it.

Especially a track like "Sandwich, Chips ..." which is nothing but a bass-driven dub backdropping sounds of eating. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.