FN399 Dimmer - Don't Make Me Buy Out Your Silence (1996)
Landing with the impact of a late-night drive-by, Dimmer's new single is a sonic melting-pot stirred by band-leader and legendary enfant-terrible, Shayne P. Carter. Ingredients for Don't Make Me Buy Out Your Silence and two more songs here include some solid rock thunder, a sly groove and an array of noises screaming in from the dark edges. Mr Carter stands in the middle of this first major Dimmer release, directing a storm of different variations on pop-noir from those he unleashed as leader of New Zealand's premier contenders for the world crown, Straitjacket Fits.
Straitjacket Fits offered up some of the most riveting rock music of the last decade. Dimmer has uncovered a new sound that is once more contemporary and compelling. With a combination of the musical equivalent of chloroform and kosh, Don't Make Me Buy Out Your Silence and the accompanying songs are a first-class knock-out indeed.
Shayne has only stepped out of the shadows to offer us the briefest glimpses of Dimmer before now. It's two years since he followed the demise of Straitjacket Fits by putting the first Dimmer line-up together in Dunedin and over a year since Dimmer first surfaced on record with the Flying Nun/Sub Pop 7" single Crystalator. The band's live appearances in the intervening period featured a string of talented sidekicks and showcased a developing ferocity amidst some righteous trance-rock.
Shayne convened the Dimmer recording band in Dunedin to lay down this single in July last year, precursor to an album that will be completed in Auckland in February. Cohorts included Dead C drummer Robbie Yeats, guitarist Cameron Bain and King Loser's Chris Heazlewood filling in on bass.
The single is testimony to the Dimmer ethic of groove and power. Lead track Don't Make Me Buy Out Your Silence is a Scorcese-inspired slab of oppressive darkness, a vocal growls through howling sirens of guitar, a crackling old school drum machine and a mesmeric bass rumble. Pacer alters the tempo immediately with a full band in flight as Dimmer return to the instrumental dynamism ethic first parleyed on Crystalator. The song rises into solid shape before collapsing again and again into an electronic free-fall. A solo version of the classic On The Road buzzes with more menace and paranoia than the Canned Heat original — aptly, creating another gangster anthem to close this particular Dimmer chapter before we get to the album later this year.