British trio Free Diamonds sounds like a folksy, tamer version of The Fratellis if they were influenced more by rockabilly and Bob Dylan records. Nonetheless, it is an very, very good album overall kicked off with the quirky but catchy “Backpack Escape Plan” that sounds like Violent Femmes if fronted by Tiny Tim. Meanwhile “Hugs and Kisses” is a tight, blazing piece of pop that shines throughout as is the hellishly fun, gear-changing “Flamingo!”. Short, crisp and sweet are the ideas that Free Diamonds brings to many of these nuggets, especially the melodic “Midnight Rainbow”. Although difficult to pick one highlight, “What’s With the Yes?” might be the winner here despite lasting less than two minutes. Things settle down somewhat with “Tumbling Tumbling Down” which doesn’t capture that early magic but things pick up again with “To Russia with Love” and the angular “Teen Magic”. Oh and one can’t forget the cheery “Jealous Panther” where they sing about dancing at your funeral with glee.
// Notes from the Road
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