Diamond Nights

Once We Were Diamonds

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The four youngsters in Diamond Nights were raised on AOR; the very best of it from the sound of their debut EP Once We Were Diamonds. Thin Lizzy in the cradle, Judas Priest in their formula, sort of like the Darkness, minus the Queen obsession, and plus the sense that they sort of mean it. Simply put, when they are at their best, they just rock about as purely as anyone in 2005. The EP kicks off with what has to be the best rock & roll song in a dog's age. "Destination Diamonds" thunders like a locomotive on an addictively hooky riff and singer Morgan Phalen croons and swaggers through like the second coming of Phil Lynott. He even goes Phil one better by taking off on some soaring falsetto swoops near the end. The rest of the disc is no letdown as tunes like "Dirty Thief" with its clipped Eddie Money-sounding guitars and snarky vocal and the chugging "Saturday Fantastic" should have been in very heavy rotation back in '78. The band also tries their hand at synth-driven new wave on a couple of tracks and are less successful there; the synths add a layer of camp to the sound that comes close to sinking it. "The Girl's Attractive" comes off as clever and studied, whereas "Destination Diamonds" makes you want to rip your shirt off and go wild. Anyone who grew up on classic AOR, or wishes they had, will anyway. Call this a very promising debut (featuring one of the songs of the 2005 summer) and hope that the album steers clear of the cute synth tunes and sticks to the lean, mean rock action.

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