By: Emily Zemler
When a band can render the less-than-positive word “divorce” into something you really, really want, you know they’ve got to be good. The Seattle foursome who call themselves the Divorce are certainly skilled at likeability; their new album, The Gifted Program, dances with catchy, ’80s-inspired hooks and clever turns of phrase that are practically impossible to shy away from.
Formed in early 2001 as a trio of drummer Kyle Risan, bassist Jimmy Curran, and singer/guitarist Shane Berry, the Divorce set about to record their album, There Will Be Blood Tonight, the following year, eventually adding guitarist Garrett Lunceford (formally of Seattle pop rock band Acceptance) as a fourth member.
The Gifted Program offers an amiable combination of British shoegazer rock and new wave-y dance rock. The album opens with “Yes!,” a synthy little number that gets your foot tapping and heartbeat racing. Berry, whose voice has an emotionally urgent quality reminiscent of Shawn Christensen from stellastarr*, is very convincing when he moans, “Even you can find someone to love.” Progressively, though, Gifted becomes more and more moody, eschewing the dance-inspired numbers for more emotive songs that drag your eyes right down to your feet. “Be Quiet,” the album’s penultimate track, accurately expresses exactly what the Divorce do by the end of Gifted. But despite the mild depression that settles on you by the song’s close, the progressive mood swing works in the band’s favor, particularly when they attempt a bipolar upswing on the charging closing track.
The Divorce, who certainly prove that the word denoting the end of a marriage can seem positive when placed in the right connotation, are on tour this fall.
The Divorce tour dates:
9/9, Seattle, WA (Crocodile Cafe) 9/10, Seattle, WA (Pacific Science Center)9/24, Fremont, WA (Oktoberfest)9/30, Portland, WA (Tonic Lounge)10/1, Eugene, WA (Indigo District)10/4, Los Angeles, CA (The Key Club)10/11, Bloomington, IN (Second Story)*10/12, Cleveland, OH (Beachland Tavern)*10/13, Chicago, IL (Schuba’s)*10/15, Minneapolis, MN (7th Street Entry)*10/17, Des Moines, IA (Vaudeville Mews)*10/18, Omaha, NE (O’Leavers)*10/19, Denver, CO (The Hi-Dive)*10/20, Salt Lake City, UT (Ego’s)*10/21, Boise, ID (Neurolux)* (* with United State of Electronica)