The members of Los Angeles quartet Division Day found themselves at a crossroads in the aftermath of their first album, 2006’s “Beartrap Island, on which they admit they were trying to create a sound that would have mass appeal. Although it earned them a mention on the new incarnation of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ the pop-leaning musical path on which they had embarked left the members feeling disillusioned.

Indie rock
Dangerbird Records
August 18, 2009

After splitting with their record label and deciding to self-finance their next album — “Visitation” out August 18 — the group found themselves with nothing to prove and nothing to lose as they were writing and recording the songs that would become “Visitation.” And it shows, with the result being a collection of uninhibited tracks that fuse the contemplative navel-gaze stylings of Radiohead with foreboding arrangements and frequently sinister vocals.

“Visitation” overall has a much darker tone than the band’s previous offering. The unnerving title track, for instance, describes the invasion of an unwanted, Grim Reaper-like guest whose status as real or imagined is left unclear. But nowhere is the new direction more evident than on “Surrender” an anxious blend of pre-programmed drums, processed vocals and other computerized effects.

“Planchette” starts as a subdued acoustic number, but eventually morphs into the band’s version of a power ballad, with singer Rohner Segnitz’s voice and a splintering guitar solo floating above the piano and crashing cymbals that keep the song grounded.

Softly bringing the album to a close is the ominously-titled “Black Crow. Segnitz bookends the song by initially singing “How did you find me? “¦ You come with a weapon” and eventually pleading with the bird by the end, “Don’t go.” It’s as if he’s embraced the dark and disturbing, and “Visitation” will likely inspire listeners to do the same.

About The Author

Elizabeth Raftery is senior editor of Blast. Follow her on Twitter.

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