By Adam Lovinus
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Sun-soaked slackers with easy charisma and wicked wit, Dios (Malos) come from the California we know largely from Grandaddy and Beulah songs. The guitars and drums are loose, the singer sounds sleepy, and anything else that creeps in carries a tinge of pot smoke. The band's second eponymous record—the first since a name change was forced by Ronnie James Dios—came out a few months ago and is still registering in most parts of the country.
That makes sense. It's a record that takes its time, thus we should take our time letting it sink in. Long before we get to the colorful instrumental "Tokyo Sunrise (Excerpt From Flight Sequence)" at the record's center, for instance, we're breezed by the opening "Feels Good Being Somebody," a half-jittery gem steeped in deadpan jokes ("I take drugs/But sadly I can't afford 'em") and even a feigned sneeze. Then "Say Anything" is whispered and weepy, "I Want It ALL" channels My Morning Jacket, and the playfully ramshackle "So Do I" brings in a friend for handclaps.
The guys aren't much more energetic live, but they're just as easy to enjoy. Their Chain Reaction show comes just a week before Dios (Malos) pull a stint touring the U.K. Then they come home to cut across the States with The O.C.-approved Matt Pond PA in tow. The band's trademark stoner charm should be intact, as should its knack for Flaming Lips-ish jangle and shimmer. In this iffy era of dance punk and glitch-hop, it's sorta refreshing to go see a band you could realistically hang out with in your basement.
Dios (Malos) with Northern, the Color Turning, Moonrats and Firescape at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $10.