Diamonds – An Introduction

Band – Diamonds
Release – An Introduction EP
Label – Unsigned
Release date – Out now
Sounds like – disco punk thrown at a wall via feedback and the sound of a breakdown.

On about the 3rd listen through of ‘An Introduction’ the debut EP from Birmingham’s Diamonds and I’m still not sure exactly what is going on. The impression is a load of kids discovering instruments for the first time and having a ‘see who can play the loudest and fastest’ competition. It then begins to evolve – your ears begin to adapt to what is going on and it starts to fit together like a jigsaw with half the pieces missing, some of which have been replaced by lego and stickle bricks.

Originally Diamonds started out as a grind band (thanks press release!) but adding a bass player means you have to change your sound apparently (should have got a sampler dude) and actually construct songs over a minute in length that don’t involve inhuman wailing and possible vomiting. Their sound now is…well….scattered would be the best term to use. The basic structure gives a now towards Seattle’s The Blood Brothers, in both vocal delivery and the harsh, staccato post-punk racket that opening track ‘Incinerate the Incinerator’ incorporates. It skips under an almost jazzy beat and tappy drum patterns before lurching into this scuzzy breakdown of messy riffs and drum rolls which clatter their sound to pieces. The vocals switch from this weird yappy almost preppy delivery, to a strained squawking shriek, before dipping into an echoing, hollow wail beneath this almost grinding, lurch of post-hardcore noise. The scrappy, dilapidated sound is akin to that of Cap N’ Jazz in places, especially the drums, whilst the vocals give a nod towards the slight nasal tone of Tim Kinsella and his part-bird part terrified mouse vocal delivery.

‘Cheers De Beers’ follows this skipping, bouncing jazz-beat that stops and starts thanks to the inclusion of somewhat misplaced but appreciated breakdowns in-between, which crunch and stutter between the odd vocal wails. Credit to the bassist who not only holds the song together, but even has time to deviate from the tune to throw in odd time signatures. The stabbing punch of the break at the minute mark falls almost into noise rock territory of churning yet dense power. Diamonds’ vocalist Nathan then tries in vain to scream over the top (and succeeds, doing an impressive Jordan Blilie meets Keith Buckley roar) as it descends into this harsh, messy post-hardcore meets spazzcore nuance.

The opening yapping on ‘The Nightlife Raped The Stourbridge Skeleton’ is akin to that of a puppy that has been chucked in a tumbledryer on a high spin cycle, whilst the owner listens to Fugazi at a deafening volume. The drumming is pure Locust-cymbal crashes and rolling rasp, whilst the main body of this chorus-free 2 minutes, gives a direct nod towards Bedford’s Ice, Sea, Dead People in terms of trashy exuberance and cocky attitude.

Diamonds are difficult to pin down – they’re like a cat that won’t sit still and take an injection – playful and happy one minute, then it’s all spitting, hissing and snarling. Some of the guitar work still retains their old, apparently grind sound – it’s harsh, scratching nature can be heard on ‘Incinerate the Incinerator’ quite clearly, whilst the bass balances this out by being the cleanest sounding instrument in the whole band; despite everything sounding incredibly scrappy but delightfully fresh.

Diamonds have apparently recorded a debut album called ‘Girls Best Friends’ which has been mastered by Rory Bratwell, (aka him from Test Icicles), so expect to hear this aural chaos sometime this year.

Links

Diamonds Myspace


By Ross Macdonald

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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