Diemonds Returns with Self Titled New Album
After years of heavy touring, personal tragedies and some lineup changes, Toronto’s Diemonds returns with their third full length, self-titled album. This is their first release since 2015’s Never Wanna Die and this time they’re releasing it the old school way; independent and without the backing of a record label. They sold a limited run of vinyl and CDs themselves through their website, offering 100 signed vinyl records and 100 signed CDs, giving a cool sense of exclusivity and a collector’s feel to having the album.
The album follows even more in the poppier direction that Never Wanna Die started. The songs are short, catchy, non-threatening and would fit right in on any mainstream rock radio station, particularly third track Shoulda Listened to Ya. With its stop/start riff, audience participation cue and smooth chorus, if this song doesn’t get them a huge hit on the radio I don’t know what will.
Miss You stands out as the ‘ballad’ of the album. It starts with powerful driving bass, and has a memorable guitar solo from guitarist CC Diemond, who this time is the sole guitarist on this album. It was one of 4 songs co-written by Damone guitarist Michael Woods, who I think helped the band achieve a more simplistic and mature song-writing that I think they were going for throughout the record.
Production wise, this album sounds fantastic. It was produced and mixed by Juno Award winner Eric Ratz, who also produced their last album and who’s worked with Billy Talent, Big Wreck, Monster Truck and others. This album sounds slick, clear and professional. It actually sounds like a ’90s Bob Rock album and wouldn’t sound out of place next to the Black Album or Dr. Feelgood.
Bass player Tyrone Buccione definitely makes his presence felt on this album, providing some tasteful bass lines that really add to songs like Breathe and Warrior. The bass is right up in the mix and you can feel every note he plays and every pause when he doesn’t.
Vocalist Priya Panda sounds great as always, however she lacks some of her trademark snarl that was more apparent on their earlier, harder edged albums. Lyrically all the songs have a positive message and follow a theme of sticking together and getting through the hard times. At times the lyrics can seem a bit juvenile, but on the other hand I found it refreshing that there are no sexual undertones reminding you that there is an attractive female singing like on a lot of their past work. In that sense I would say the lyrics take a step forward towards a more mature sounding band.
As for the record itself, it sounds great. No surface noise, lots of bass and everything sounds clear and precise. They obviously put a lot of thought and money into the quality of this album. They even threw in a few goodies. Mine came with some old ticket flyers, a patch and a couple pins, including a cool Kiss pin for the hell of it.
All in all I had a bit of trouble with this album at first, but really I can’t say much bad about an album that sounds this good. It’s a fun pop album that goes with the summer. As a fan, I’m happy the band is still active and making music.
Standout Tracks: Breathe, Shoulda Listened to Ya, I Miss, Warrior