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Backbeat Online
First Coast News
NPR “"Second stage”
Stereo Subversion
The bat and the bird
This is Book’s Music
What to wear during an Orange Alert review
June 17, 2009 by Justin Vellucci

There’s plenty to love about Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, the second outing from Dish, but the verdict is still out over the disc’s most engaging attribute. Is it the vocals of Roberto Aguilar, the eerie way his wail channels Jeff Buckley at his always-familiar, rock-inflected peaks? Or is it the junk percussion of brother Nathaniel Aguilar, the jagged and inventive backbone of the duo? No matter your answer, this disc, out now on ROA Records, will transfix you – and for all the right reasons.

The disc begins with what, for lack of a better term, could be called a spiritual number or even a work song, the voices multi-tracked over the banging of a metal rail and a hubcap. But, after that 90-second introduction, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour kicks into gear with “Cold Is,” a bright pop-rock nugget with plenty of hooks and a fist-pumping chorus. From there, the disc simply carries you from one great moment to the next. There’s “This Ain’t Livin’,” where Roberto Aguilar largely sets the pace with a shuffling acoustic guitar, and “Tired of Writing Songs,” which unfurls a lullaby guitar line over clattering percussion. On “Closer Dead,” Nathaniel Aguilar dresses up a pensive verse with the occasional pop of found percussion. On the sensual “Pictora” or the driving “Flutter,” the junk, the way those notes spike and jump out of the speakers, nearly steals the show.

The disc is also nothing if not diverse. At one turn, these guys are refining the art of the low-key (the trippy “The Song I Couldn’t Say,” the ballad “I Will Run For Our Love”). Then, without stumbling, they shift to the grandiose, from the country-and-western-tinged “Letter To You” to the excellent “Flutter,” which fleshes out its refrains with trumpet, trombone, French horn and tuba.

There are too many great moments on the 16-song disc to list, from the jazzy swing-and-sway of “I Saw A Bird” to the poppy humor of “Zombie Love Song” to “Death and Romance,” which begins with vibraphone but ends a dirgy barnburner. The disc ends with “Because The End Is Near,” where the brothers Aguilar again accompany the proceedings with horns. But, here the mood is reflective, a moment of pause at the end of 53 incredible minutes. It’s a calming curtain-close, almost an antidote to the heightened pop-rock pulse of it all. Not if only we could determine to which element of the band we should pledge our allegiance.

Deckfight album review

Guess the only reason to write is because the album “rocks” or something, though Dish has more of an eye on Southern groove surf music with Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour like their pensive Orlando location would give them. Stuck between two oceans but not close enough to either, this is the musical expression of being influenced by the coast and the confederacy without really being at either. (Update: their Myspace says Deland, so really that’s the Atlantic, not the Gulf…I think the “expression” statement still holds true, however).

“This Ain’t Livin” gives us the classic line “I’m so hungry I could eat my stomach” before morphing from a laid-back acoustic into a rowdy Ben Kweller breakdown (if Ben Kweller is rowdy…). But rowdy enough to cause one of the bros, Nathaniel to leave which kind of sucks…Dish bends and twists several musical styles on Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, I think I was told to write by somebody something akin to the Cold War Kids, but I’m also thinking The Raconteurs, so maybe they told me to write accurately. “Cold Is” the second album track was recently on NPR, so maybe I’m way behind on this or NPR is way cool. I choose neither, except I choose Dish.

Other faves include “Death and Romance” with upbeat melodic distortion if there is such a thing; and “Familyl Tree” which follows the same slow, slow, faster, slow, rock, rock, rock formula of some of the others mentioend here. I hear they use a lot of pots and pans and random objects for percussion, so continue to dish up this goodness. Hopefully the bros find ways to trade music files over USendIt and keep this stuff coming.

The Music Minute
jason - Posted on 26 April 2009

Last month brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar (aka Dish) released their first full-length album, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour. These brothers grew up surrounded by music, and let it slowly brew in their own ways. Now they come together, they discovered music together, and the pairing of Roberto’s organic, genre-busting singing and guitar work with Nathaniel’s junk-gypsy found percussion has been a decade in the making. What is most remarkable is the energy that fills their live performances and surprisingly translates on this recording.

Dish-Cold Is (song review)
Monday, April 20, 2009 by Mark Mansfield

Opening with a “My Sharona” rhythm track and catchy occasional falsetto vocals, “Cold Is” get’s your attention from the start. Covering the ground between The Kinks and The Smithereens, Dish has created a song that is poppy,fun, and totally rockin’. Dish is a duet consisting of a guitarist and a drummer that plays on a gypsy junk kit, but they’ve somehow hit onto a sound that seems bigger than two people. The interaction of the dirty garage floor guitar and the raw, organic, rattling of the junk percussion is the element that transforms Dish into something that goes beyond their influences. In other words, “Cold Is” is hot.

UNTYTELD, a Music, Art and Fashion E-zine
April 20, 2009 Review by "the labourer"

Dish is an indie folk band consisting of two brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar from Florida. Their visibility in the Florida music scene ain't no hazy, the combination of Roberto's sensible vocals and guitar play along with Nathaniel's genius beat making process makes the duo prodigious in tone.

They unveiled a new album recently, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour which we strongly suggest you to check it out. Find yourself involving in a string of genre ranging from tenderly loved folk crafts to groundbreaking rock tunes that keeps the crowd alive.

Favorable tracks from this album include Cold Is and Letter To You.

Beyond Playlist
April 17, 2009 By Eryc Eyl

Filtering '60s pop and garage rock through filial rivalry and junkyard percussion, Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar make heartfelt, heartsick indie rock that is clever without being cloying, dynamic without being deafening and poppy without being pablum. The wide-eyed optimism and ingenuity of the duo's minimalist love songs to life are both endearing and energizing. Elements of lo-fi rock, folk and even country mingle in well-constructed pop songs that fly beyond the limits of expectations. While there's enough sophistication and complexity to suggest an art school education, the earnestness and innocence that shine through on Ma Raison de Vivre Ton Amour (Your Love is My Reason to Live) suggest that school didn't do too much damage to the artists.

EderBlog review
April 17, 2009

Talented musical brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar (originally from Maryland), but living in Florida, is out with a very nice full length debut album.

16 songs, almost an hour of music of great variation.
Small town into big town West Palm Beach and the resulting cash/clash.
Los Angeles recording. Pushed by manager Michael Lopez (Santana).

Sounds Strictly commercial, i know, but we are getting more superficial here on the blog these days, so why not. Nowadays anyone can record at home. The difference is that some use their time to practice, practice again, and polish their good songs until they are actually good enough and ready to present to anyone outside of the group of friends.

Let's focus on music that lifts you up instead. I really, really enjoyed listening to this. These guys are talented, check these "secret machine(s)" out!

Another great song, is "letter to you", where Roberto (like he also does in "Zombie love song") is using his Costello-influenced voice in an optimal way: "Dish - Letter To You.mp3"

Other favourites includes "The song i couldn't say" (i love the awesome light-suede/butlerish-guitar!), and "Flutter".

Here's a live performance (Copper Rocket, Maitland Florida Oct 10th 2008), of one song from "Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour". The song is called "Closer Dead".

The bat and the bird

i used to live within a 15-20 minute drive of damascus, maryland, the hometown of dish. though i guess i’ve technically been there many times, i have few memories of the place… serving mainly as a necessary point to pass through while taking the back roads to baltimore. i’d guess — and wikipedia confirms — the town’s main attraction is a soft serve ice cream stand, which i never understood the appeal of… though, admittedly, i prefer the harder stuff. so i was a bit surprised to learn of dish’s humble origins… they may just be the biggest thing to come out of that town. though the apostrophized song title above is no surprise… pure damascus.

NPR “"Second stage” review,

March 2, 2009 - In addition to sharing a similar upbringing, brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar now have the same career trajectory as the two main players in the Florida-based band Dish. At a healthy sixteen tracks, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, is nearly an hour long, which gives the duo plenty of opportunities to explore its talents. From the robust and lively percussion segments and the echoing vocals in "I Saw A Bird," to the more somber sound of "I Will Run For Our Love," their debut LP showcases a broad range of tempos and moods. With the help of a few guest players and the inclusion of the viola, lap steel, upright bass, mandolin, and piano, "Letter To You" has a rich sound characteristic of the 8-piece indie-pop-orchestral band Margot and the Nuclear So and So's.

Unexpected polyrhythms are the hallmark of Dish's unique sound. Nathaniel regularly incorporates random found objects like pieces of sheet metal, gutter pipes, pots, pans, and hubcaps in the mix. Far from sounding like an amateur drummer or a street performer banging away on overturned buckets, Nathaniel successfully navigates his expansive 'drum kit' in creative ways. Whether whimsical, minimalist, or powerful, the various percussion styles effectively mimic the mood of each song on Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour. review
Posted 2/23/2009 8:50 PM EST

It's always a good thing when bands from Florida start to gain notoriety. Our little neck of the woods has been quite active as of late and Dish certainly hope to keep up their pace. This duo from Deland, made up of brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar, discovered music together and now years later are actually making music together. Their album, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour is probably the best thing to ever come out of the Deland.

Artistically, Dish are just about all over the map. They're like indie rock gypsy's wondering genre's and cross pollinating them in an effort to something that's hypnotizing and intriguing. At times the succeed as they occasionally sound something like Radiohead if they were playing power pop; it's those moments when the band are at their best. Other times though, the band tend to get lost on their quest falling into some sort of folky quagmire that brings down their energy level and nearly drags Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour with them (see "Zombie Love Song").

Utilizing all sorts of hand made percussion, acoustic guitars, vibes, programmed beats, and synths, the band is able to make just about any sort of song they choose to and about four or five songs in they have. The loungey acoustics of, "Death and Romance," serves as a perfect example of their songwriting philosophy. Opening with some jazzy, loungey, vibraphone action the song gives way to acoustic guitars and then blows up into a soaring distorted blast up to heaven. It then comes back down to earth and uses some beats to move the song along just far enough before it takes off again. It's a crazy littler rollercoaster ride of a song that crams just about everything in the bands arsenal into a tune that's under four minutes long.

For the most part, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour is an impressive debut. Dish's ability to create jumpy songs that fuse genres together like super glue is truly a good thing and the album benefits form this repeatedly. It's only when the band decides to slow things down and get "jam bandish," that Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour suffers; hopefully Dish stays away from the coffee shop folk and sticks to writing scattered pop songs.

This is Book’s Music cd review

Brotherly love is the name of the game here, as Nathaniel & Roberto Aguilera use music as their toy box to create the kind of mind blowing rock, folk, and pop that would sound good with munchies and ludes. They have been compared to everyone from Beck, The Flaming Lips, and Neil Young in terms of making music that feels spontaneous but is as unpredictable as… now let me talk about this for a moment. You buy albums and I don’t know about you, but I like to hear what an artist is capable of doing, and the more variety there is, the more I want to embrace the authenticity of that. Perhaps this is why they call themselves Dish, because if you were go enter a restaurant with no name, and everyone had leather bondage masks on and gloves, you would have no idea who or what they were. But you are given a dish in the dark and are told to eat. You begin to eat. You taste, and you don’t know what the hell it is but the taste is exquisite. This is Dish.

Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour (Roa) translates to “your love is my reason to live”, and the songs could be considered the many variations of love. They are comfortable in bare bone acoustic ballads as they are in delivering an intense distorted crunch with noodles, so you just take it all in and try to figure it out at the end, or not. I know I’ve said this many times in other reviews, but this is the kind of band you wish you had heard a long time ago, as they sound like the kind of pride that once existed, or at least the pride you felt went into hiding. The secret is out and the answer has been revealed: grab a Dish, and do it with all senses open.

© 2009 ROA Records
















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