Diamond Dogs is one of those bands that could have been huge, but never got there. And sometimes I have myself believing that they actually don’t want to get too big, that they are quite content with not selling that many copies of their albums and playing small clubs for few people.
The band has been going since the early nineties and whenever they release something new, you almost have to play detective to find out about it and if and when they decide to play a gig, you can rest assured that the venue they play is some small club that no one has ever heard of – On a Tuesday. I can’t grasp it, because the band is bloody great. The music they play can be compared to stuff like 70’s Rolling Stones, The Faces, The Quireboys and Black Crowes’ earlier stuff and they write brilliant rock songs with a groove that could make a a paralyzed dance.
That said, as live band they have always been and probably always will be fantastic. However, the last couple of albums they put out have been somewhat cheesy. Both Up The Rock and It’s Most Likely The Diamond Dogs were, if not crappy, more in the vein of something your grandparents could have used for their latest dancing party. That’s why it feels great to hear that with this new one, they are back to their old groove and when they are, they’re at least as good as the bands mentioned above.
“On The Sunny Side Again” swings just like old times, the title track is groovy as hell and one of the best tracks they have written in years, “Burn One Down” is a great slow, groovy blues and “Stand By The Rhythm” swings like crazy, makes you wanna grab a cold one and get up and dance. Brilliant! And “Let Me Down On Solid Ground” is just one of those songs that makes you stomp your feet to the steady beat. Unfortunately, the album doesn’t cut it all the way. On “Mama Let The Mad Dog In” they sound like one of those dance bands we all can’t stand, “Nothing’s Gonna Change This Love” sounds like an old 50’s dance ballad, “Scars And Emblems” is old time rock that goes nowhere, “Bad But Not Ruined” is an instrumental jam that feels both bad and ruined and “Ball Of Lightning” is an ok acoustic song, but goes more into mediocre territory.
Despite there are some songs that doesn’t hold hold up, most of the album’s 13 tracks does. This is the best album the band has made in years and years. Had they removed some of the weaker tracks and made this a 10-song album, they would have been given a much higher rate here. Still, the good songs are just so damn good, this album is worth buying just for those. If you can find it anywhere….
Jon Wilmenius (6/10)
01. On the Sunny Side Again
02. Set Fire to it All
03. Mama Let the Mad Dog Run
04. Scars and Emblems
05. Lay Me Down On Solid Ground
06. Bad But Not Ruined
07. Ball of Lightning
08. The Inner Jukebox Blues
09. Sweethearts for Christmas
10. Burn One Down
11. Nothing Can Change this Love
12. Stand by the Rhythm
13. In Each and Every Ballroom