Tino Drima-Modernizing the Big Band

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India Slodki/The Broadside 

Tino Drima pulled me in with their explosive and desperate “I Wanna Be Your Mantra,” a four-minute powerhouse, pulling influence from teenage desperation and cinematic bravado to illustrate the longing for a love that is unrequited. 

The six-piece band brings big band doo-wop traditions to the land of pop-punk, crafting a really interesting layering of traditional instrumentals. Frontman Gregory DiMartino sways from howling to growling. DiMartino brings twisted melancholia to dazzlingly captivating instrumentals. The end result is a nihilistic acceptance of life’s agonies. 

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There is a cinematic quality to the work of Tino Drima. Their big band sound pulls them away from the skeletal side of pop-punk. Their tracks feel mature and established. They know how to work with each other, as a band. This is undeniable as their perfect timing and impeccable accompaniment introduce you to a new perspective on life’s less desirable moments. 

Tino Drima knows exactly how to make you uncomfortable. On “SF General Hospital,” siren-like instrumentals weave in and out of a dreamy exchange, falling into an explosive confrontation among the elements of the band. The sedated nature of the song satisfies and tugs at curiosity. 

In a way similar to The Cure, Tino Drima is able to twist bright melodies into humbled confessions of humanity. DiMartino’s edgy yet absurd wordplay comes to its peak on “The Actress,” a track off their 2019 EP Suiting Up. The track sways with DiMartino as he dances through denial of his struggles, yearning to be heard. 

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