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Album Review

On Mosaic, their second album and first for Matador, Love of Diagrams expands their muscular, post-punk-inspired sound with even tighter songwriting and performances. Unlike many 2000s bands drawing from the sounds of '70s and '80s, Love of Diagrams remains true to the spirit of that era, never feeling too studied or calculated as they use Pylon, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Real Ramona-era Throwing Muses as inspiration for their own bracing-yet-sleek sound. Two of Mosaic's strongest tracks, "The Pace and the Patience" and "Pyramid," appeared on the Love of Diagrams EP that marked the band's Matador debut, and they still set the tone for the rest of the album. Antonia Sellbach's commanding, careening bass and vocals are the heart of the band's sound, giving each song its pulse and clarion-like intensity, particularly on "Trouble" and "At 100%." However, every aspect of Love of Diagrams gets its due on Mosaic: the mostly instrumental "Interlude" and "Confrontation"'s on-a-dime tempo shifts hone in on the band's tight interplay; "Single Cable" spotlights Luke Horton's serrated guitar work (and "Form and Function" reaffirms what a good vocal sparring partner he is for Sellbach). "Ms V. Export" and "What Was I Supposed to Do?" show that Love of Diagrams can be as vulnerable as they are forceful, and achieve an awkward beauty that underscores the songs' fragile melodies and emotions. The band uncoils even more on "Double," a dreamy, reverberating ballad that offers a breather from Mosaic's highly concentrated rock. Crucially, though, highly concentrated doesn't mean monotonous; Mosaic offers creative variations on a few well-chosen themes, with focus and energy to spare.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A trio with a fiery, angular sound that recalls post-punk greats like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Pylon, the Melbourne, Australia-based trio Love of Diagrams feature vocalist/bassist Antonia Sellbach, guitarist/vocalist Luke Horton, and drummer Monika Fikerle (who also played with the Bites, Sea Scouts, the Grimm, and Jihad Against America). After forming in 2001, Love of Diagrams made a name for themselves with their kinetic live act and consistent touring, supporting Sonic Youth, Electrelane,...
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Mosaic, Love of Diagrams
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