Flow and Steer

CD Cover Damn the Diva

Review by Dorothy Parvaz

This is a strange album. At first listen, Flow and Steer seems to have that standard Vancouver rock sound (à la the Odds, Age of Electric, Econoline Crush). But the more you listen to it, the more little things you notice. Like the slight Lenny Kravitz ring in Kevin Mackenzie's voice now and again, the Clash-like guitars in the beginning of "Screwtape" and just how well that trumpet really works in "Favourite 45."

Admittedly, I've slacked on seeing Damn the Diva live, and now I'm curious to see if they sound this clean and tight, live (no, no, Flow and Steer doesn't sound over-produced... just very crisp). Those lyrics are pretty nice too, for the most part. I won't pretend to know what to make of lines like "Every other fills the in-between/ Ride the trampoline -- shoes on!" (from "Hover"), but when they make sense ("I was on the alcohol/And my millionth broken promise/ Could have changed us all," from the haunting "Alcohol"), they're lovely.

It bears mentioning, however, that Damn the Diva do tend to stick to a certain formula (dreamy guitars, restrained rhythm section) when they don't need to. They're really at their best when they compose more intuitively, as with "Diamond Days," that song CFOX played the crap out of, or the heavier-than-most "Nova Cain."

Artist Contact Info: P.O. Box 385, Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada, V2X 8H9

First published in Drop-D Magazine on May 29, 1998

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