It may be only thirty minutes in length but Nothing Matters, the debut album from US alternative rock band Diamond Youth, is jam packed with boisterously contagious songs to party hard and long to. It is a riot of fun seemingly bred on flavours inspired by the likes of Queens Of the Stone Age, Weezer, and Foo Fighters but with plenty of its own distinct characteristics and flavours to create something individual to Diamond Youth. For personal tastes the release is stronger and most tenacious in its first half but every offering within Nothing Matters is a compelling slice of pop rock equipped with feisty persuasion and a good strain of tenacious mischief.
Diamond Youth hails from Baltimore, emerging around 2010 with a line-up featuring members of Trapped Under Ice, Terror, and Down to Nothing; all sharing a common background of art, design, skateboarding, and of course music. Influences range from band such as Pixies, The Nerves, and unsurprisingly Queens Of The Stone Age, and it is fair to say that the quartet has increasingly lured attention through a host of EPs starting with DMND and Don’t Lose Your Cool in 2011. It is Orange in 2013 and Shake a year later, both as the new album released via Topshelf Records, which provided the spark to greater focus and acclaim enveloping the band, in turn sparking strong anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. It will leave no one disappointed and is destined to not only recruit another wave of eager spotlights and fans whilst simply creating a fun time for all.
Recorded with engineer Dave Warsop, the album starts with its title track, swiftly entrapping ears and appetite with stirring rhythms and spicy hooks encased in vocal and melodic revelry. Quickly, especially as the vocals impressively cast their tempting on proceedings, that QOTSA air is an open breeze bringing even greater catchy bait to the vibrant persuasion. It is the tangy hook though which brings the biggest smile in the emotions, that and the adventurous ideation lining the song from first note to last.
The excellent opening to Nothing Matters is quickly matched by Thought I Had It Right, another song with thick hooks and entrancing harmonic tempting. Slightly more restrained in energy compared to its predecessor, the song saunters and sways with a rich Muse like sultriness to sound and voice. Every syllable comes coated with a spice of angst whilst melodies like a fine wine just become more seductive and effective on the senses with very passing moment. There is also a volatile edge to the contagion posing as a track, its sonic presence flirting with causticity as it forcibly infests and ignites ears through to the imagination.
Spinning steps up next with an even more reserved nature though melodic and vocal passion in turn create a blistering roar courted by a snarl of a bassline. Fair to say that it might be the least feisty song on the release so far but it is the most tempestuous and fascinating, and subsequently quite irresistible as also the following Far Away from Earth. Rhythms straight away lay down an anthemic potency before quickly finding themselves skirted by a deliciously grizzled bassline and a brewing sonic mist of guitar. The mellow croon of vocals does bring a magnetic tempering but ultimately only seems to inflame the growl and rebellious attitude of the song as it erupts in a cauldron of pop infectiousness and rock ‘n’ roll predation. Crunchy and warmly smouldering simultaneously, it teases the psyche like Josh Homme toying with Muse as it creates yet another instant pinnacle upon the album.
A more summery swagger comes with Succulent next, a surf rock/ garage pop colouring the sweltering climate of the bewitching instrumental. Its heated charm and warm elegance are emulated in next up In the Clouds, a bubbling shimmer of sound and harmonies which takes the listener by the emotions and leads them on a dance of addictive devilry. Six tracks in and five of them are easily single potential, an instrumental having little chance of being chosen let’s be honest.
From Riptide onwards, band and album seems to explore a different avenue with a lessening of the agitated sonic invention and an increasing of more immersive melodies and warm radiance. Tracks as this compelling ballad still have a fire in their belly but such the alchemy of virulence in earlier songs they just miss, and it is just, casting the same persuasive spark. Nevertheless the song has ears engrossed and satisfaction full whilst the static kiss and melodic coaxing of No Control and the post punk like rhythmic lure of The Nothing, ensure only the keenest attention is given. The second of the two especially has thoughts and enjoyment lit before Deep Love explores some dark pop beauty. It has a feel of UK artist Rooster Cole to it, with its sombre ambience encased in an excitable adventure of sound. The track is superb, a match for anything before and without doubt also a song on its own sure to trigger greedy reactions.
The album closes with The Difference, itself a humidly aired release of emotional and musical drama, and a fine end to an increasingly impressing encounter. Diamond Youth has taken the qualities nurtured in previous releases to new thrilling and at times spellbinding heights. Whether you want an out and out romp to party with or something with a melodic embrace to sink into, Nothing Matters delivers one very enjoyable time.
Nothing Matters is available now via Topshelf Records @ http://www.topshelfrecords.com/products/545159-diamond-youth-nothing-matters or https://topshelfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-matters
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