Album Review: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger & Stroll Down The Rabbit Hole (Candlelight Records/Spinefarm Records)

Tim Burton’s dream band, Diablo Swing Orchestra, are parading down the rabbit hole on album number five. The fearlessly progressive eight-piece Swedish ensemble are poised to return with their fifth album Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole, on Día de los Muertos, 2nd November, via Candlelight/Spinefarm Records.

What the hell is this? That’s the first though that will enter your head if you’ve never listened to a Diablo Swing Orchestra album before. You’re either going to love every second of this or you’re going to be so baffled, you end up hating it.

From our perspective? It’s such a unique listen that our confusion turned to delight and love. Diablo Swing Orchestra are doing something we’ve never heard before and Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole had us bouncing up and down with joy.

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A progressive rock, cinematic sounding, jazz and swing fusion of elation. The fearless nature of this group is astounding and you can’t help but marvel at the imaginations involved. To put together such an eclectic and electric set of songs is staggering. At times, it’s utterly brilliant and at others, utterly mental. The first two tracks; Sightseeing in The Apocalypse and War Painted Valentine are great examples of the varying degrees of chaotic wonder that Diablo Swing Orchestra create.

Take a deep breath, there’s so much more to come.

The excitable Celebremos Lo Inevitable sees the unit draw inspiration from the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos and its celebration of friends and family members who have passed on but still live in our hearts and through our memories of them.

You want some swing? Or some folkish partying? Or how about something with a colder touch? Speed Dating an Arsonist, Jig of The Century and The Sound of An Unconditional Surrender will deliver variety with both hilarity and uplifting sounds.

The playful and gleeful weirdness of Malign Monologues might be the deal breaker for many though. The halfway point, delivering a peppy and animated burst of tongue in cheek horror-tinged revelry. It’s here you’ll either realise it’s not for you or that you’re desperate to continue this wild and wacky journey.

A sexy and sinister electronica dance number comes in the form of Out Came the Hummingbirds. Snake Oil Baptism ‘bassiness’ is punctuated by killer vocals. Les Invulnéables is pretty, cinematic sounding melodrama before Saluting the Reckoning sees Diablo Swing Orchestra get weirder than ever before for something that sounds like it belongs on a stage show.

One of, if not the most unique rock record released this year. Diablo Swing Orchestra keep it so very interesting right to the end as The Prima Donna Gauntlet and Overture to A Ceasefire end the madness.

Now take a breath.

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole Full Track Listing:

1. Sightseeing in The Apocalypse
2. War Painted Valentine
3. Celebremos Lo Inevitable
4. Speed Dating an Arsonist
5. Jig of The Century
6. The Sound of An Unconditional Surrender
7. Malign Monologues
8. Out Came the Hummingbirds
9. Snake Oil Baptism
10. Les Invulnéables
11. Saluting the Reckoning
12. The Prima Donna Gauntlet
13. Overture to A Ceasefire


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Diablo Swing Orchestra - Swagger & Stroll Down The Rabbit Hole (Candlelight Records/Spinefarm Records)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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