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Ambitious, Astonishing, Courageous, Eclectic: Die So Fluid’s The Opposites of Light

Die So Fluid
The Opposites of Light

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Ambitious. Astonishing. Courageous. Eclectic. These are all adjectives that describe Die So Fluid’s epic new LP, The Opposites of Light.

DSF leader, lead vocalist, and bassist Grog Lisee has seemingly willed that she and her bandmates – guitarist Drew Richards and drummer Al Fletcher – wouldn’t take the easy way out and follow up 2010’s The World Is Too Big for One Lifetime with more of the same.

Not that The World was a bad record – far from it. It’s just that Grog and her bandmates have spent the past four years in a frenzy of a sonic expedition, crafting 16 tracks on The Opposites of Light that explore heavy metal (“Nightmares”), melodic vocals (“Anubis”), funky bass grooves (“Comets”), baroque strings (“Black Blizzard”), thrash-punk riffs (“Crime Scene”), guitar virtuosity (“Spark”), psychedelic and gothic atmospherics (“The World Opposite,” “Dream Sequence”), moving ballads (“Violent Delights”), folky acoustic guitar-based numbers (“Falcons”), and almost everything you could want from a rock-and-roll album.

The tracks on The Opposites of Light are so diverse, so powerful, so confident that they recall classic double LPs, such as Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, The Beatles’ The Beatles, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., The Clash’s London Calling, and Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times.

I realize that this is high praise and may read like hyperbole, but the comparisons are just. Bear with me.

Robert Plant, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and Prince are great singers who have the ability to change the tone of their voices in order to fit the style of the song that they sing. Prince sounds like a woman on “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and a passionate folk singer on “Sign ‘O’ the Times.” Lennon sounds like a screaming bluesman on “Yer Blues” and a lonely boy singing to his mother on “Julia.”

Grog has the same ability as these great vocalists, and her tremendous voice is the glue that holds together the eclectic brew of The Opposites of Light. On “Crime Scene,” she screams with all the punk rage of a Riot Grrrl and hits some amazing high-register notes to boot. Her voice on “Anubis” is crystalline and handles what’s perhaps the album’s most infectious melody to perfection. Emotion and introspection pervade the vocal on the wondrous “The World Opposite.” And the folky “Falcons” demonstrates how well her singing works with acoustic guitar and string accompaniment.


To put it country simple, The Opposites of Light undoubtedly proves that Grog’s one of the best singers around. There are seemingly no limits to what she can do.

In addition to Grog’s stunning vocal performances, The Opposites of Light benefits from the sonic diversity of its songs. I know that I said this before, but what I didn’t mention is that each and every song bears repeated listening because they’re so rich in detail. I could go on for pages and discuss just a few of the details that I noticed. But I’ll exercise restraint and delve into a handful of songs.

“Black Blizzard” was the first song from The Opposites of Light that I heard (I also saw its excellent video, which you can see below). To say the least, the song’s a tremendous composition, mainly because of its arrangement. Grog, Drew, and Al begin the song with baroque strings, which elevate in pitch to provide an opening for the heavy drums to enter. The band then grooves along in lockstep with the strings, before the same elevation in string pitch provides an opening for Grog’s vocals. As Grog sings the melody, the string riff changes beneath her, creating a compelling dynamic. Drew gets louder, as Grog extends her vocal notes and the strings drop out in the chorus. All of this happens in the first 90 seconds of the song!


The masterful “Anubis” follows on the record, as if DSF want to show the world just how good they are at songwriting and arranging. Drew plays some poignant solo atmospheric guitar before the rhythm section joins him, taking the song to a place where he can launch into a heavy riff. Grog then enters on vocals, her poppy verse melody soaring over the music. She shows her penchant for holding extended notes. Her chorus melody’s short syllables are at least as memorable as the extended notes of the verses. And Drew positively explodes out of the chorus with a chugging riff that ups the ante in fiery rage.

“Comets” showcases DSF’s ability to structure a song around a groove. Again, Drew gets things going with a cool riff, but Grog’s bass is the star of this song, transforming it into what can only be classified as a heavy dance number. Her verse melody enhances the groove, before the song erupts into a rocketing chorus that never loses sight of the song’s earthy foundation in heavy dance.


Like Zeppelin in their folky mode of III, “Falcons” combines light and shade. The light comes from the acoustic guitar and strings that elevate the song to the ether. The shade derives from Grog’s deep and guttural vocals. In other words, DSF create yet another compelling, detailed dynamic. And when Grog goes into a higher register after an instrumental break, her lyrics – which run, “The falcons above / Memories of what I once was” – perfectly fit her vocal.

Other details: the way in which Grog’s punk screams on “Crime Scene” match Drew’s equally punk guitar; the way in which Al’s marshal beat on “Transition” somehow makes Drew’s beautiful guitar even more beautiful; the way in which the languid strings on “Echo of a Lie” provide a brilliant melodic counterpoint to Grog’s vocal lines; and the way in which Drew’s minimalistic guitar and Al’s delicate cymbals foreground Grog’s lovely melody on “The Road to San Sebastian.”

I could go on, but I won’t. The Opposites of Light, when all is said and done, is the kind of record that you want to discover for yourself. Please consider this review a primer for your experience of what I’m sure will be one of your favorite records of the year.