Thursday, December 20, 2012

Diemonds - The Bad Pack (2012)

Think Halford would be jelly of this bike?
Despite a vocalist lacking a stable range and deep roots in a beaten-to-death genre, Diemonds feel genuine in their attempt to be an incarnate of a hard rock band popular years ago. Inspired by classic horror films and novels, the Canadian five piece take the theme to heart, but the idea ends up a little too tongue in cheek for their videos, particularly "Get the Fuck Outta Here." The idea is no doubt a nice throwback to eighties cheesiness, but the apocalyptic imagery quickly grows old and poses the question: how long can a band rely on gimmicks before their fan base jumps ship for the next big thing? 

True to the musical pomp the guitars lay down, any cheese is hastily devoured, and the pursuit of the eighties seems less vain. Diemonds' sortie against a decade littered with throwbacks and imitators is admittedly tough--considering the absence of a prevalent female front woman in any metal era (aside from Doro)--but sassy, almost prissy vocals save The Bad Pack from the dreaded bargain bin at the local music store. Gritty, particularly in the tougher to reach higher range, Priya Panda saves the band from a slow, forgotten death among sound-alike after sound-alike.
It's hard not to mistake Diemonds for another generic eighties rock band with track titles like "Lil' Miss," "Loud ‘n' Nasty," and "Trick or Treat," even if further inspection yields death, destruction, and madness. Nevertheless, Diemonds' sleaze connection remains strong enough that, if you aren't paying attention closely, you'll mistake the lyrics for some far out sexual innuendo. Whether or not the band intended their lyrics to be interpreted that way is another story. But, in any case, the songs are fun, carefree, and subconsciously hummable.
Not all glitters is gold, however, and The Bad Pack sacrifices any hope for thinking outside the box in favor of standard guitar riffs and song writing. There's a real sense of mediocrity looming over a few songs on the record, namely the midsection--cutting the track listing short by a song or two might rocket the record to the top of the year's best of lists. "Left for Dead" sounds as its title would suggest, and "Overboard" hints at the overdone three chord progression every hard rock band since the caveman discovered fire uses as a crutch when throwing that last minute composition together.

Rather than revamp their sound entirely, Diemonds' future path should include a push toward inconspicuously wandering outside their comfort zone. By established definition, hard rock is an extremely limited genre and standing out is tough, barring using a female vocalist as a provocative object. Instead of positioning Priya as a center piece, the band should concentrate on bettering their music. Either way, though, The Bad Pack
is a decent first full-length and cuts like "Take on the Night" and "Get the Fuck Outta Here" are damn fine songs worthy of only the best modern revival bands. The delivery is good; all Diemonds need to do is crank the volume knob past 11 and rock the house.


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