Hear This

Ay, dios: Get to Grandaddy's show early, and you just might hear God. Er, god.

Raised in Hawthorne, the same South L.A. suburb that spawned the Beach Boys, the five barely legals of dios("Always lowercase," nags the press material. Whatever) know full well that they're standing on the shoulders of giants, and they don't exactly shy from the association. For starters, they boast that they paid for their upcoming self-titled debut by selling Smile bootlegs online. And they put the Fosters Freeze logo in that debut's liner notes, supposedly because the Beach Boys wrote "Fun, Fun, Fun" at the chain's Hawthorne branch. Hell, they even lifted the signature harmony from Pet Sounds' "You Still Believe in Me" for dios' "50 Cents," with singer Joel Morales' reedy tenor tracing it note for gorgeous note. All of which suggests one mildly distressing conclusion: In dios, Brian Wilson may finally have his very own Gallagher brothers. Like he needed that.

Not to worry. For all its slavish devotion to the Beach Boys, dios doesn't actually sound a whole lot like its hometown heroes, other than some breathtakingly delicate melodies and, well, the harmony from "You Still Believe in Me." Rather, listen to dios and you'll hear one part Flaming Lips (minus the grinning lunacy), one part Wilco (minus the suffocating self-importance), and about three parts Beatles (minus plenty, so let's just say these guys have clearly spent some time with Abbey Road. And "The White Album." And Abbey Road).

More than anything, though, dios sounds like Grandaddy -- sans the jittery technophobia, but with the same graceful songwriting, and Morales' lilting voice is more than a little reminiscent of Jason Lytle's. So it makes sense that the Modesto space-pop quintet asked dios to hold down the bottom of the bill on its current tour. Go for Grandaddy, but get there early for dios. Somewhere amid all the trucker caps and goose-down ski vests, you'll find the future of lo-fi beauty pop. Listen closely and you might even hear God. Or, um, god. Whatever.

 
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