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September 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Nashville’s Diarrhea Planet does rock’n’roll a solid | Concert preview
Have you ever wondered what it might sound like if a pop-punk band like Descendents joined forces with ultra-positive hard-rocker Andrew W.K.?
Diarrhea Planet’s second album, “I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams,” comes awfully close.
The Tennessee six-piece brings its outrageous quadruple-guitar setup and party-hearty attitude to Barboza this Saturday.
Guitarist Evan Bird, a Tacoma native, arrived at Nashville’s Belmont University in 2009 with “a guitar case full of songs, and a heart full of dreams.” At the college, known for its music-business program, Bird encountered “a lot of radio-rock bands in the vein of Coldplay… and I didn’t fit that mold.”
Neither did classmates Mike Boyle (bass), Emmett Miller (guitar), Jordan Smith (vocals and guitar), Brent Toler (guitar) and Casey Weissbuch (drums). Before long, Diarrhea Planet was up and running.
Back then, Bird recalls, “we just wanted to start a band that would be ridiculous and piss everyone off,” but as the local buzz surrounding D.P. grew, so did its confidence.
Nowadays, the guitarist continues, “we’re not shy about wanting to be the biggest band in the world.”
With “I’m Rich,” they’re getting closer, emerging as ambassadors to Music City’s thriving do-it-yourself scene — which also includes outfits like the glam-punk Cheap Time and Weezer-esque Jeff the Brotherhood.
From its eye-popping cover — reminiscent of Raymond Pettibon’s iconic Black Flag artwork — to its ‘80s-punk-meets-‘70s-rock sound, the 13-track LP shows that while D.P. may be young (average age: 23), they know their history.
Musically, the record builds on its predecessor, 2011’s “Loose Jewels,” with longer songs, airier arrangements, and more serious lyrical content. Coming from a band whose first single was a goofball shoutalong called “Ghost With a Boner” (listen), simmering cuts like “Kids” (listen) — about the emotional pitfalls of growing up too fast — show unexpected depth.
“Now that we’re out of school, we’re more levelheaded,” Bird explains, “and the vibe at our shows has shifted from ‘let’s slam this 40 and catch D.P.’ to ‘let me get my girlfriend and we’ll go see D.P.’”
Fittingly — considering the group already employs two more guitarists than most — D.P. implores fans to come onstage at its gigs.
“It’s not just about us,” says Bird. “Wherever we’re playing, it’s a shared experience. That sense of community permeates our whole scene in Nashville.”
Asked if he misses anything about the Pacific Northwest, Bird first responds jokingly — “Vanilla Bean DRY Soda, mainly” — before answering in earnest.
“I miss it every day, but if I loved it more I think I’d still be there. Music-wise, right now… Nashville’s my home.”Diarrhea Planet, The So So Glos
8 p.m. Saturday at Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $10 (206-709-9467 or www.thebarboza.com)
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