Diagonal is a psychedelic six-piece from Chicago. Formed out of the ashes of a local post-punk cover band, the core of the group have been playing music together in one way or another since 2015. Their early works combine hazy waterfalls of shoegaze guitar, serious pop hooks, and layers upon layers of reverb.
Today’s lineup features Silas Mishler (vocals/guitar), Dan Jarvis (guitar), Alex Brumley (guitar), Chris Detlaff (drums), and most recently Brad Althaus (organ/keyboards/percussion).
They’ve made their way throughout the Midwest bringing a wall of sound to small clubs and festivals like Milwaukee Psych Fest and Detroit’s Echo Fest. They approach the three guitar lineup with nuance, wrangling melodies and riffs in a controlled way leaving room to let the song explode into complete sonic annihilation at any moment, while the rhythm section keeps things running on time.
The first single to come out of their current lineup, 2019’s “Detroit”, is a slow driving Motorik drum and bass groove that started as an impromptu basement jam while on tour in Detroit. On the B-Side, the band morphs Gary Numan’s “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” into an epic 7 1/2 minute guitar exploration.
Weekly garage jams laid the groundwork for the songs that would form their latest LP. In May of 2019, the band recorded four new songs including the follow-up singles “Negatives” and “Anticipation”. After retreating back into the garage to write and demo they made the trip to Key Club Recording in Benton Harbor, Michigan at the end of 2019. In one lock-in studio weekend, Diagonal recorded nearly ten songs, some pre-arranged and others spur of the moment improvisations.
The resulting self-titled LP is a mix of highly polished psych rock, contemplative moments, and angular jams. The band’s first vinyl release will be out in February 2021 via Portland’s Little Cloud Records.