The Baltimore band’s debut album is an onslaught of sweeping but sharp-edged blitzkrieg pop.
“I don’t care if you don’t care / I don’t care if you don’t care at all,” wavers the chorus of the throttling title track on Diamond Youth’s first full-length. For a band that named its album Nothing Matters and currently lists skateboarding and girls as two of their three heaviest influences (along with “‘90s alternative music”), Diamond Youth certainly don’t come across as either care-free or flippant on record. They storm through the eleven songs on Nothing Matters like four guys shoring up the sincerity of their conviction by pummeling their instruments and punishing their vocal cords, the way young guys on a mission so often do. Comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age seem to follow Diamond Youth (sometimes they come straight from the band themselves), and singer Justin Gilman does have a similar way of stretching and swooping his vowels à la Josh Homme. Diamond Youth keep every shift and curve tight, are (only) slightly less prone to note-bending and don’t have any old hesher traces to polish over.
Formed in Baltimore but currently scattered among a few different states, the band fled the northern winter to Costa Mesa, California, to record Nothing Matters at Hurley Studios with engineer Dave Warsop. If the walloping reverb on the drums and the burn and scrape of the guitars are any indication, Hurley must be a cavernous place with very solid walls. The results find Nothing Matters sounding almost like a live album (though one with no gaffes or bum notes), which seems like the ideal environment for Diamond Youth’s onslaught of blitzkrieg pop.