In their self-written online bio, the boys of Dios (Malos) tell us that this new record is 100 times better than their first one. I will admit before telling you about this CD that I'm ignorant of DM's past music; however, if this new self-titled album is that much better than the first, I have little or no motivation to cure this ignorance.
It's not that DM has created a bad record here. Melodically, it's fairly pleasing; the general fan of indie pop music can find much here that is familiar. A fan of My Morning Jacket surely would feel right at home with "I Want it All," and fans of Coldplay might find a song like "EPK" worthwhile. But, the problem is that the record never goes beyond mildly pleasing in this sort of general way, because it never goes beyond its influences. It is a strikingly derivative record, which ironically makes it a record that is not striking in any way whatsoever. It becomes boring, because you know more or less where they're going. We've heard these crescendos and guitar breakdowns all before, and they weren't really interesting enough in the first place, and much less now that they've been repeated endlessly.
It doesn't help that Dios (Malos) also seems to be addicted to incredibly slow tempos with such a focus on simple melodic guitar lines, they would really do a lot for their music by simply speeding a couple of these tracks up just to get them grooving. As it is, practically every song seems to plod along to the same, thudding 4/4 beat, making all the songs run together as one, which is a considerable shortcoming, considering the fact that the songs didn't sound particularly singular in the first place. A notable exception is the instrumental interlude of "Tokyo Sunrise," which takes advantage of the laid-back tempo and focuses on simple guitar grooves, an organ riff, and "oohs" from lead vocalist Joel Morales.
That it is instrumental is surely one of its greatest assets: for the most part, Morales' overall performance on this album, as both a lyricist and vocalist, is subpar. The lyrics show an over-emphasis of the topic of drugs; every other song seems to be filled with inane statements like "I get high but I don't remember why/And I'm losing all control" (the opening line from "So Do I," which also includes a chorus largely consisting of the repeated mantra "I get high!/So do I!" you get the idea). And the vocals, are similarly uninspiring. Morales' voice is not distinct in any real way, resembling the slow drawl of hundreds of artists before him. It carries the tune, and little else. And, really, that's about all Dios (Malos) can do as a whole on this new record.