DIFFUSER, LOVERS OF INJURY AND MELODY
Speaking of power-crunch-pop, remember Diffuser?
Diffuser’s brand of heavy pop rock was very specific to a time and a place, their mix of hard rock riffs with pure pop-punk songwriting and attitude something that could only exist in the late ’90s / early 2000s when both genres were peaking and could only be spawned in a prototypically homogenized suburban place like Long Island. While this blend has undoubtedly caused 75% of the MetalSucks readership to stop reading this article immediately, Diffuser wrote positively perfect songs that could get your head banging, get your girlfriend singing along and get lodged in your head instantly. I suppose in a way they were proto-emo; these days they’d definitely be labeled emo, but 10 years ago no one really used that term, certainly not in reference to music with this much balls.
Injury Loves Melody was the album that kicked things off for Diffuser after they signed to Hollywood Records in 2001 and changed their name from Flu 13 (lolz). Injury Loves Melody, of course, is also the perfect description of their music and perfectly encapsulates why this band never really took off besides the minor radio hit “Karma,” posted below. Diffuser were too heavy and smart for the Simple Plan and Blind 182-loving pop-punk kids and not heavy or stupid enough for anyone who was listening to the harder radio rock bands of the era like Korn, Limp Bizkit and Disturbed, or even radio-rock-for-smart-kids bands like Incubus or even Tool. It’s a common problem for bands that straddle genre lines so evenly, and like so many of those bands Diffuser developed a small but fervently devoted fanbase but couldn’t reach the mass market success that a major label requires to turn a profit.
Injury Loves Melody was Diffuser’s best-known album, but I think they actually topped it with 2003’s follow-up Making The Grade which had just as many memorable hooks but lacked the one radio hit it so sorely needed. These days I actually come back to that second album more often. Diffuser disbanded in 2004, but unbeknownst to me reunited in 2008 to release their third album, Sincerely, Wasting Away on Chamberlain Records. Three whole jams from that album are posted on the band’s MySpace page, and you can seek it out on iTunes if you feel so inclined.
Here’s another of my favorite Injury Loves Melody songs for good measure, “Leaving With a California Tilt:”