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The Music Room: Issue 45

Fall listens: Diamond Rings, Moon King, Metz and more

After years of playing in guitar-rock bands, solo artist Diamond Rings (a.k.a. John O’Regan) strapped on a synth and rode a gender-bending glitter rainbow to success. On his sophomore record Free Dimensional (Astralwerks), he expands his lo-fi beginnings into mainstream pop, channeling contemporary icons like Robyn (“Stand My Ground”) and Lady Gaga (“A to Z”). The album is catchy but lacks depth; O’Regan’s opaque lyrics and ill-advised rapping cloud the record in fluffy platitudes. Free Dimensional’s strongest moments are personal revelations about life on the road: “Either way it’s all the same to me / mini bars, guitars and TV,” O’Regan sings on “Day and Night.”

Toronto’s Metz remained the city’s best-kept secret for far too long.  The band’s debut self-titled album (Sub Pop Records) bristles with the furious post-punk energy of Husker Dü and a Bleach-era Nirvana. As guttural ...

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