Review: Diesel Park West — Surrender Shuffle (Single)

Diesel Park West have seen the pitfalls that come with excess — both artistic and personal — firsthand in the many years they’ve spent in the spotlight of an ever-colorful British indie rock scene, and they rightly want no part of it in their new single “Surrender Shuffle.” Over three decades after they struck up a cult following in their home country and abroad, Diesel Park West couldn’t sound much sharper than they do in “Surrender Shuffle,” which I would go as far as to rank among some of their most well-rounded material to ever see widespread release.


Everything in this track is efficient, starting with the structure of the beat. The rhythm that guides the percussion sets up the foundation for every climactic moment between the start and finish, alluding to a lack of hesitance all too swaggering for the listeners to evade. We get an uplifting buzz from the pulsation of the groove and additional clarity on the narrative from the lyricism here, as opposed to the other way around, and although this might sound like a bit of an avant-pop concept on paper, it plays out in a streamlined fashion in “Surrender Shuffle.” After all, you don’t get as far as this band has without learning a thing or two about juxtaposing melodic decadence with compositional self-control.

This mix has a supremely polished finish that makes every element, from the drums to the bass and back to the lead vocals, sound and feel sparkling clean. Better yet, even with the music being produced as to have that coveted radio-ready feel so many independent artists are never quite able to capture on their own, none of the natural tenacity in the play — nor the emitted texture from the string instruments and percussion — gets lost in translation. That’s a tough balance to strike, and I won’t be the only critic to tell you as much.

The hook in “Surrender Shuffle” is very Beatlesy, and it’s stylized with a vocal that more or less extends itself into the instrumental harmony rather than dominating over the backdrop as would be the case in a more conventional recording (and perhaps by a more conventional band). There’s something really charming about the simplicity of most every intricacy of the music here, and moreover, how well they blend together to make something that feels full-bodied, multidimensional and ultimately reflective of what the players want to be as a group. Some might call it old fashioned, but to me, this is a formula I wish a lot of young upstarts would be trying out for themselves.

If you had thought Diesel Park West were somehow running out of steam at this point in the game, you’d better think again and brace yourself for the magic they’re unleashing in the all-new single “Surrender Shuffle” this September. A spectacular amalgamation of their iconic studio prowess and unflinching desire to follow the beat of their own drum, “Surrender Shuffle” brings a one of a kind band into the next chapter of their long and storied career the right way.

Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer

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Colin Jordan

Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer

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