Hailing from Rochester, Diluted are definitely a band that fails to weigh themselves down with genre labeling. After just a first listen, it should be pretty apparent to the listener that these guys have a variety of influences and have no problem just throwing them all in a blender to see what comes out. This makes the title of their latest EP ultimately fitting.
Throughout the opening track on their latest EP, Never Fit In, entitled “Better Living Through Hennessey”, I’m reminded of a few classic albums from my much younger days. Even the very first riff, for all its low end, simplicity and upbeat nature, is a dead ringer for some nu metal classics, but don’t let it fool you. By midway through the song, after you’ve heard a few clean vocal driven choruses, you should be leaning more in a Deftones direction. Sure, there are a few hints of Every Time I Die’s Last Night in Town album (dating Buffalo with that statement), but Diluted seems to love the heavier, more aggressive end of Deftones’ spectrum (Adrenaline, Around the Fur). I could be completely wrong about that, but fans of either of those records, definitely won’t be disappointed by this one.
Track 2, “Hipster Helmets and Harpsichords” carries more of that late ’90s, early 2000s nu metal magic. The commanding shrill high harsh vocals are back, but riff wise and clean vocal wise, it’s a serious trip down memory lane. There’s some light rapping/spoken word over some upbeat clean guitar chords that could’ve easily made their way into an older Sublime song. Then again, the southern twang present in the opening guitar riff has ETID or A Life Once Lost written all over it. Not to mention, those clean parts I mentioned weave in and out of heavy hardcore breakdowns and other punchy style riffs throughout the entire track. “You just don’t get it, we will never fit in”, is a recurring line, so I’m thinking if these guys were into title tracks, this would’ve been it.
Track 3, “Nemesi” is a song fans of Glassjaw, Saosin or Senses Fail will really get. If you loved screamo in the early 2000s, this is the jam/ballad for you. It has its really heavy (more metal) moments, but once again, this is not a band that conforms to any one style, so it’s hard to get comfortable.
The 4th song, “Sledge Hovercraft”, gives us more of that nu metal throwback. But it’s not all JNCO jeans and obnoxiously long wallet chains, folks. The harsh vocals on this album are shrill and on point (nothing a recycled nu metal band would produce). Then, as mentioned earlier, the clean vocals (along with the majority of the music) have that whole Chino/Deftones vibe. But this song in particular, carries some punk/hardcore/rap (if that makes any sense) influence within some serious mob chanting that’s sprinkled throughout the tune. I can’t call it rap, punk or hardcore, but it’s more of a mixture of all three. If anyone local remembers what Skungk or Stemm (with Louis on vocals) used to sound like, I think either one of those bands make for a perfect comparison here. However, let me reiterate that those comparisons only work in said heavy mob chant parts.
Track 5, “Homunculus”, starts with an eerie clean guitar intro that could’ve been on either a Pantera or Dream Theater album (it depends on which band you like more). From there, we’re transported into a series of angry, mid-paced riffs, accompanied by more beautiful shrill high screams and some genuine rage. This may not be the most adventurous song on the album, but it is the most emotional and honest. If you’re having a bad day, check it out. It’s a great closer.
Diluted will be playing Deitzman’s Comeback Show at Rockin’ Buffalo on January 20! The Masked Promoter needs your support, so don’t miss it!
Follow the links above to check out the full EP, along with a sample below.
Guitars- Zach Coffey
Drums- Dusty West
Bass- Mike Kimmak