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The Diodes


(Bongo Beat; US: 17 Jan 2012; UK: 13 Feb 2012)

Owing as much to the stripped-down immediacy of punk as to the brawny tunefulness of their friendly countrymen in Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the Canadian group the Diodes sure have a knack for blood-pumping rock ‘n’ roll. Capturing the one-time punk rockers’ transition to full-on AOR hard rock, the 1980 LP Action/Reaction (reissued by Bongo Beat with six bonus tracks) is a nonstop parade of virile mid-tempo guitar-crunch that’ll have you wishing the record was packaged with a leather jacket and a bottle of beer. No question, the album is at its most gratifying when the Diodes refrain from the impulse to slip into New Wave pop rock and instead emphasize those swaggering grooves. The few distracting period touches here and there, like the keyboards on “That Was the Way It Was” and the overly-treated drumbeat of “Catwalker” (an admittedly infectious single that smacks of a hypothetical union between Adam Ant and the J. Geils Band) are a small yet bearable price to pay for such a satiating helping of attitude-packed rock.


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