This is another one of those CDs that I spun during my road trip from Houston to New York last fall. Oddly enough, I popped this disc in right around the time we entered the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, which is where Gist hails from. Maybe it was a location thing, or maybe it was due to the fact that the previous CD we had in was utter crap, but I really enjoyed Diesel City. I have to admit that the one-sheet put me off a little bit beforehand — whenever I see “international flavor” or some similar phrase used to describe a band, I run the other way. I’ve been burned by that particular tagline one too many times in the past, I guess…it usually equates to a cacophonic sound of immense proportions. I can’t help but think, though, that someone put those words in there just to reference the fact that Gist’s frontman is Indian. It doesn’t matter one way or the other, but that’s about as “international” as things get on Diesel City, which is not a bad thing. What you do get from Gist is angular indie-rock that reminds me of Mission of Burma, the Pixies, and Superchunk, with a little experimentation and jamming here and there (but never too much). It all adds up to a really enjoyable listen, and a somewhat nostalgic one at that — Gist would have been right at home putting out records on Matador in the late ’90s.
Saturday, January 27th, 2007.