Over the past several months, post-punk trio DiCaprio has been one of the busiest bands in the scene, performing on a wide range of bills, festivals, and house shows throughout Atlanta and Athens. In the process, the group has significantly elevated their profile, enough so that you’d think they’d be eager to share their debut LP with their widening fan base in order to help cement their fervor. But DiCaprio is not your usual band.
Composed of former Places to Hide frontman turned Irrelevant Music founder Kyle Swick on guitar and vocals, John Rae on bass, and Immersive scribe Russell Rockwell on drums, the trio completed the entirety of their 11-song debut, I Went to the Mall Yesterday and Got Sick, before they had ever played a show. In and of itself, that’s not all that unusual, but what is a bit strange has been their decision to keep the record so tightly under wraps. “We recorded the LP at Studilaroche in Decatur with Ben Price,” Swick informs me over email. “The album was recorded live and mixed completely in a 3 day period in February, 2016.”
For those of you counting, that’s eight months ago. In the intervening time there have been a wealth of opportunities to catch DiCaprio live, but, until now, only a single track — the jangly, energetic “Ectoslavia” — has been made available for public consumption. This would seem to indicate some sort of ulterior motive such as the possibility that the group is shopping the LP to labels, but if that is the case, they’re remaining tight-lipped about it. For now, all we have is vague promise of a 2017 release date to look forward to.
DiCaprio’s second single, “Return to Babylon,” finds the group embracing the same lean, rhythmic impulses as its predecessor albeit with a hint of greater aggression and tenacity. A few months ago, a colleague asked me what the group sounded like, and I responded with something along the lines of End Hits-era Fugazi mixed with Protomartyr, Devo, and maybe some early Spoon. Throw in a tinge of goth bleakness on the vocals, and I think that assessment still applies here. This is a group that’s not afraid to counterbalance brutish stomping and oppressive atmospheres with oddly playful hooks (dark and grim, yes, but lively nonetheless), and it’s that smirking tension between the two that serves as the group’s animating force. These guys may be slow to deliver the goods, but when they finally do the results are primal and unnerving.
DiCaprio Tour Dates
Oct 20 – Richmond, VA – Gallery5
Oct 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Fort Tender
Oct 22 – Boston, MA – O’Briens
Oct 23 – New Brunswick, NJ – In the West
Oct 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville
Oct 25 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd Music House
Oct 26 – Raleigh, NC – Slim’s
Oct 28 – Charleston, SC – The Sparrow
Oct 29 – Athens, GA – The 40 Watt w/ Jock Gang, Nihilist Cheerleader, Gláss
Nov 05 – Atlanta, GA – 529 w/ Greys, Shepherds (7″ Release Show), Glare, DJ Teddy Letterman