May 6, 2015

EP: Diocese - Diocese

Diocese's debut EP leaves you with a constructed sense of catharsis.

The only thing religious about Oberlin post-punks Diocese on their self-titled debut EP is their relentless prayer to the altar of DC hardcore icon, Ian MacKaye. Featuring members of Swings and Headmaster, Diocese (a word that connotes both power and control), adeptly take on this intimidating moniker. Singer Mia Rosenberg drives home every syllable with a palpable fierceness and simultaneous vulnerability. Diocese is the body at work, it breathes and moves, but it also isn't afraid to display the darkness of its insides. In this same vein, their lyrics are made up on the spot, crafting an organic and visceral form to their work and Dan Howard's drumming patterns operate under the influence of a jazz-like spontaneity.

“Talking about booking a show, emailing someone and them not emailing you back… That’s so much more of the experience than any abstract, poetic lyrics," said Jonah Furman of Krill in a feature with Impose. This quotation came to mind as I listened to "Hip Replacement" where a lone, bedroom-style guitar is beaten down by an onslaught of instrumentation. "My dad is having a hip replacement / And I'm scared I'm scared he won't make it.” Mia howls mundanities like her life depends on it. She transforms into a wistful siren on “Matthew Walker,” as she articulates the boring qualities that make for domesticity over the guitars that have taken on a jagged effect. These themes of taught femininity and desired guidance are picked back up on “White House Intruder,” the only track sung in Spanish. An introductory ominous, waspy riff trembles. “¿quien me dice? que me van a decir / como debo vivir / que me van a decir / como debo vestir / quien me va decir como / como debo vivir / si debo existir” (“who tells me? What are they going to tell me / how I should live / what are they going to tell me / how I should dress / who is going to tell me how / how I should live / if I should exist”) Rosenberg calls out to the universe. Things slow down on penultimate track, “No Place,” where the guitars take on a Galaxie 500 sound and Jamie Finucane’s bass punctuates each beat of homelessness. This tape may be filled with anguish and friction, but Diocese leaves the listener with a well-constructed sense of catharsis.


Listen to Diocese on bandcamp

Madeline Meyer, a Los Angeles transport to Philadelphia. She writes screenplays and plays guitar and sings in Littler. Her favorite things are olives, board games, and dad jokes.