The Diamond Dogs - 'The Grit & The Very Soul' (Legal Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Saturday, 15 January 2011 05:30

diamonddogsAh, what a joy. What better way to welcome a new year in than with a stonking new release from a band you just know isn't going to let you down or fuck you about, a band that will just deliver the goddamn goods.

 

Sulo and company dish up another eleven pieces of rock 'n' roll just they way it should sound, but hang on a second, it's not all Keith and Ronnie duelling axework and honkytonk barroom piano as Sulo and his crew take a sidestep and, whilst still in the smokey bar, kick back and lay some acoustic guitar work and horns-a-plenty...but it's still unmistakably The Diamond Dogs. 'April Fool' breezes in and the familiar and unmistakable smokey tones of Sulo's voice drifts in and greets your ears like a lifelong friend. 'Tis good to have the Diamond Dogs back in the house in 2011 and as I chill out and let the music flow I find the enjoyment as strong as it was the first time I heard the band. 

 

A good song is a good song no matter how timeless or unoriginal it might be. The first thing you notice is it's a little less ragged rock 'n' roll and more an eclectic collection of honkin' horns and mandolins and laid back melodies, perfectly stated on 'Greetings From Isaacs Hill' (Did he just use Blundell Park in the lyrics? That's got to be a first). Anyway it's track four that will get tongues wagging and will cause some debate as they take on the Smiths masterpiece 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want This Time'. Again I'll go back to what I said earlier - a good song is a good song and whilst it's been countrified and rock 'n' rolled in a Diamond Dogs way it's still a beautiful song and there is no harm done to it by covering it on this album and, besides, it fits in with the flow of the album and has a good arrangement. 

 

For some it might be a little light on the old electric geetar but the laid back mellow Diamond Dogs is cool and a very Stonesy 'Don't Turn Me Away' is simple and simply wonderful as it unfolds with very little clutter and just a fiddle, some percussion and an acoustic guitar and vocal as it meanders to its finale. 'Last Of The Lovers' reminds me of The Kinks with some great lyrics.

 

It's not really until track 10 that the more familiar electric guitar turns up for a familiar run through a 'Diamond Dogs kinda song' but the wait is worth it 'When The Morning Comes To Get Me' with its "whoo hoos" on the chorus and the honky tonkin joanna that leads to a rasping sax solo - just what the rock 'n' roll doctor ordered to shake off the post Christmas hangover and the album's highpoint, a simply superb song.To close the album 'Green Shamrock Shore' floats by like a mist on the bay in what has been a triumph of songwriting. Something of a departure to previous albums (even if it's a slight departure) but a sound and collection of songs that won't shock or surprise fans of the band or Sulo's solo work, just a more laid back mellow offering but with plenty of swagger and an air of supreme confidence being displayed by the Diamond Dogs. A collection of wonderful songs from Sulo and friends, will it raise the band's profile or win them new fans? I'm not sure, but it should. Another fine album from a mighty fine band who I'll always look forward to hearing.

 

I managed to make it through the review without mentioning the Faces or 'Every Picture Tells A Story' or The Quireboys.....D'oh!

 

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