After a cease-and-desist order from Ronnie James Dio, the Hawthorne, California quintet that originally broke ground last year as Dios was forced to adopt a new moniker and settled on Dios (Malos). Name change or not, the band’s second self-titled album (Dios released Dios on Startime International last year) is another radiant assortment of songs.
With production by Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, the Shins), the sound is stellar. “I’m self-absorbed and I’m lazy,” says vocalist Kevin Morales alongside the invigorating rhythm of opener “Feels Good Being Somebody.” The album contains chilly acoustic ballads such as “Say Anything,” and the guile in the band’s harmonic precision paves the way for a tender flow in “I Want it All.” “Epk” gives off a sense of warmth, and “Tokyo Sunrise” shows off the eclectic nature of the dual key arrangement, including some shimmering Eastern grooves from a swanky B-3 Hammond organ. “My Broken Bones” shines on while retaining a sugary primer of Americana twang, and a spacey prog-jazz vibe ensues with “I Feel Fine.”
Dios (Malos)‘s buoyant yet sophisticated glow incites a plethora of feelings, but the album stands out above most of the band’s dreamy indie-rock counterparts because, undoubtedly, the members of the band are enjoying themselves. And that makes listening to the album a joyous occasion.