Morningwood, Diamonds & Studs

Posted on June 9, 2010 by

The Litany:

There’s an identity crisis happening with this band. There is an obvious amount of production minutia to make the piece sound idiosyncratic. The most obvious is the arena rock power chords contrasting with simple single finger synth riffs and pop hooks. There is a youthful buoyancy in the female singer’s delivery with some sweet nonsense syllables, reminiscent of the sixties girl group sound, but, she also wants to have the moxie of Chrissie Hynde. The trouble is the adolescent lyric don’t support the attitude. Instead it comes off sounding like junior high girl’s bathroom gossip. (Not that I was spying at that time.)

There is future promise in this band, but they have to decide which road to travel. Is it the one that sells out hockey arenas to fourteen-year old girls, or do they want to swagger through adulthood with pop sensibilities?

I’m guessing this is a sophomore effort with limited success off their first album. The prior record probably had better songs since it drew from years of playing live gigs. This offering sounds a forced, but they learned a few tricks in the studio.

I’d scrap the power chords, hang onto the hooks and spend more than ten minutes on the lyrics. The musicians sound smart as far as constructing a song, but they also have to recognize limits. They need to define themselves because they sound like they are stuck in puberty. If it all goes right, their voice will change.

Summary:

This song seems to be the most realized of all on the disc. It melds their influences well and contains the best lyrics fit for this power rock style. the percussive intro grabs your attention, the vocalist delivers the lyrics with believable attitude along with some great placement of pop harmonies. Unfortunately , after the instrumental break, the singer states with no acting skills, “Come on bitches.” Was this to get the “Oh she swore!” response from twelve year olds?

I’m assuming this is called “It’s a Killer Life.” Now it’s time for the show…this is more of the power chord / pop vocal contrast. There are some Ronnie Spector-like “Oh-Oh-Oh’s” that work but are borderline cartoonish. Not a bad song, but listening to it as an adult sounds like the Disney Channel with attitude.

Terrible choice of production gimmickry only matched by Rod Stewart’s “You’re In My Heart.” The sexy whistles and the lyrics, “You’re so hot tonight” makes her sound like a horny teenager.

Possible the best song on the album but unfortunately I just heard the previous song and am having trouble with the bands credibility.

Hey! We’re in the 80s! I hated the 80s. I’m hearing the guitar through a phase-shifter again. She sings, “Hey, this is strange.” No, that would be a compliment.

I’m losing interest. The lyrics include a line about wearing American Apparel. I think this song is called “Sugar.” I’d take saccharine and the cancer.

More reference to “bitches.” OMG! She dropped the F-bomb! She’s serious!

The delivery by our lead vocalist during the chorus is a nice nod to Debbie Harry. I like the line, “I thought you were meant to be the reason I dream at night / but now I’m losing sleep.” Nice pop song. I was almost ready to eject the disc.

Eeeeewwwwwwww! Like the Divinyls but worse.

Again the phase-shifter guitar. I think I might like this better if it was Cheap Trick covering an obscure Big Star song. This might stand well on a mix. The bad cuts on this CD are affecting my judgement on the better songs. My cohort, Ms. Verity Wells warned me of the Stockholm Syndrome. Don’t worry, it ain’t happening here.

Okay, I listened to Run DMC too, but I never pretended to be them.

Can’t it be over yet? I don’t want to hear about foreplay which what this song “Electricity” is about. Lyrically, this is clumsy teenage sex.

What? A ballad? She sings, “I’m caught like a cat in a box, clawing to escape.” Me too. For once we agree.

Diamonds & Studs on Amazon + iTunes

Grade:

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