‘Always Room’ represents a line in the sand for Diners’ mainman Tyler Broderick. Diners were formed at the point at which he graduated from high school and left behind his former band and this first Diners’ album sounds like a love letter to a youth he will never experience again.
Billed as “lonely boy guitar pop”, Broderick certainly plays the romantic, lovelorn soul to perfection, with a specialism for writing bittersweet pop songs. Opener ‘Wide Range’ is one of many offerings here which extols the virtues of 60’s beat groups. ‘Hangout With You’ is as simple in arrangement in melody as the title suggests but Diners can produce deceptively complex, emotionally deep affairs too. ‘Citrus’ is one such song; one of three tracks to last longer than three minutes (and one of those is essentially a medley), it distills teen heartache via a low-slung guitar, keening vocals and lines such as “It’s like holding onto love when there’s a fear of coming to love’s end”. Further on, ‘Could Be Real’ brings in a sweetly-cooing female vocal and its harmonies, strummed guitars and serene production conjure up more images of innocent romance. A lilting, bubbly ‘Out Of The Blue’ and the doleful melody and cheap synths of ‘Cool Kids’ make these modern-inflected songs unusual, quirky highlights whilst ‘Gila River’ resembles a Stateside version of The Housemartins.
‘Always Room’ is abundant with concise indie pop gems. Sometimes music is all about simple pleasures and Broderick’s songs have a highly likeable feel which makes you feel nostalgic for a time and a place even if you’ve never experienced it before.
Magic Bullets, La-Di-Da