Formed in 2006, and from Toronto, Canada, DIEMONDS is fronted by knockout punk Priya Panda leading on vocals, misfits C.C. Diemond and Daniel DeKay on kick ass guitar and supported by delinquents Adam Zlotnik (bass) and Aiden Tranquada (drums). On Never Wanna Die (out now, Napalm Records) they are in your face from the opening title track. The mega-sleaze assault begins and five seconds into “Never Wanna Die”, my head and feet were bobbing like a satanic \M/etal \M/essiah flashing the horns on the dash of a car going down a bumpy dirt road. Panda’s vocals are killer and this is an excellently put together song. Everything sounds incredible and a great way to start a new CD.
Speaking of the metal savior you might need one in “Hell is Full”, which predicts that “When hell is full the dead will walk the streets”…not quite as macabre as ROB ZOMBIE’S return from the grave, but a more lighthearted and slightly punky song about the same topic. Not all that menacing, but airy with a good punky feel. “Over It” gets down and dirty, Priya’s vocals and the song remind me a lot of Liv Jagrell and SISTER SIN, where she shows her great range and clean vocals. Not as strong as the title track, a bit more of a ballad. “Ain’t That Kind of Girl” slows things down. A good effort and I can totally see having an exoctic dancer in a strip club adopting this as her song. It sure has a sexy ass beat. It’s a bit different from the rest of the album, but introduce this in the gentleman’s club down the road and I think you’ll have a winner, and that’s a good thing! “Secret” is about daddy’s little girl. I don’t think her daddy knows this about his daughter (and probably should not find out), but I think I know where she is kept chained up on cold, rainy days. A bit creepy, but I think that was the intent.
Now if you think you were “Better Off Dead”…you might just be. This song rocks your but and sounds amazing cranked as loud as possible in my truck. Nice solos and as is typical, the rhythm is incredible from the sleazy Canadians. Glad tidings and well wishes at the end, you’re a winner, have a happy and productive life I’m sure that is what they mean by “fuck off”. “Forever Untamed” has a mellow beginning but at 23 seconds into the song I wanted to push the gas pedal through the floorboard. The guitars sound incredible. If you like lots of low end muted “E” and power chords (aka “metal”), this one will push you into the seat and you will love it. A short song, but by the end, you probably have the cops in your rearview mirror.
“Wild at Heart” is a nice song; nothing really special about this track other than some tasty solos about 2 minutes into it. Also some nice, heavy guitar, but not all that memorable, really. It’s back to religion with “Meet Your Maker”…I love me some tasty wah wah and this effort gives you the perfect amount, some nice change in tempos, with nice and clean guitar work. Another fast-paced tune, “Bringing you to your knees…and the animal in you” comes out. Excellent harmony from the band. Well put together. “Save Your Life” ends the LP. The first thing I notice in this song is the bass work, very obvious and makes a great change from the other tracks. “Here’s to the misfits, we are the ones that keep it alive”…my anthem too. Excellent guitar solos on this song! One of my favorites on the LP.
Overall this is an excellent album. Some of Panda’s vocals are overshadowed by the music and hearing the lyrics becomes a challenge at times, but from beginning to end, Never Wanna Die is a good product and very distinctive for these Canadian misfits. A good variety of fast-paced metal and slower ballads, with well thought out songs that will get lots of play in my Ford. Salude!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Never Wanna Die”, “Hell is Full”, “Better Off Dead”, “Forever Untamed”, “Save Your Life”