Diamond Nights
"Popsicle"

(Kemado Records 2005)Diamond Nights - Popsicle

In the early 70s with the demise of The Beatles and the entrance of Black Sabbath, heavy guitar riffs slowly became mainstream fair for rock 'n' roll. It is those riffs that Diamond Nights borrow from, shamelessly, and mix with Queen-like theatrics. And while it is a cool treat, Diamond Nights are full of energy and fun on "Popsicle" as the tracks push and pull, wriggle and writhe -- even if they regurgitate to the point of excess.

Diamond Nights charge in, guitars blazing on "Destination Diamonds" and sounding like Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" with vocals reminiscent of Rob Halford on "It's A Shokka." Likewise, the sinister sounding "Red Hex" and the guitar driving "Beyond The City of Love" are hard hitting rock tunes while "Dirty Thief" is clean cut power pop. Guitars squeak out catchy and rhythmic riffs on danceable tracks like "Saturday Fantastic" and "Drip Drip," where chorus harmonies remind of Queen.

Falsetto vocals squeal as the quick paced "Needle In The Rice" careens out of control. Diamond Nights relive T. Rex on the light and bouncy acoustic track "Snakey Ruth" and the acoustic ballad "Ordinary Life" with vocalist Morgan Phalen adding a Marc Bolan-like croon. The album's highlight comes, however, with the reserved but suave "The Girl's Attractive," which is, ironically, more palatable for the current music environment.

At times, "Popsicle" is disappointingly unoriginal as Diamond Nights borrow and then borrow some more from classic tunes. Taken as is, Diamond Nights are reinterpreting the favorites of a generation. But just like on a hot day, it is best to enjoy "Popsicle" simply for what it is before it melts away.

B-

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