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Diario | Tempo (Exile on Mainstream/Velocity Sounds)
If there's something even worse than a particularly shit record, it's an annoyingly average record, as it doesn't really give the reviewer much to write about. Diario are from Germany, they play instrumental post-rock in the style of Karate or Don Caballero, except not quite as well, and their record 'Tempo' is, well, okay. It threatens to be brilliant throughout its 39-minute duration, but never quite shifts out of third gear. There's a great tune trying to cut through the overbearing horns on opener 'Corridor', but it's constantly repressed, and the same can be said of following number 'Sewing the Machine', which spends five minutes basically going nowhere, albeit nicely. And that's the whole problem with 'Tempo' really - it's too nice. It tries too hard to be your friend, and as such suffers, as you're sent rushing back to your Tortoise records after a single listen. If Tortoise, 90 Day Men and Tristeza are your thing, then you'll like this, but perhaps not enough to make it a favourite selection. If you're not particularly moved by jazz-infused instrumental rock with a smattering of electro-beats, avoid.

Mike Diver
March-April 2003