About The Hardest Nut To Crack

Diamond Dogs

DIAMOD DOGS are back and still biting.
January 2, 2024

DIAMOND DOGS from Sweden is an old school Rock and Roll band that has been around since the late nineties and is very well known in many parts of the world  having performed hundreds of shows just in the UK alone! Their sound is a traditional British Hard Rock from the seventies based deep into the American blues and Country. Think of bands like MOTT THE HOOPLE, FACES, NAZARETH and SLADE. Many band members have left  and passed unfortunately, but they are still on track with new band members that I hope I got their names right on this review. The band is releasing their 15th album with some sleazy rock tunes for our listening pleasure.

The album starts with “Get a Rock “N” Roll Record” which I believe seems to be the order of the day for any music lover since LP's are back. The tune is a traditional Rock and Roll anthem with all the expected chords and rhythm with that additional piano in the background. Just more raw and distorted. CHUCK BERRY on acid. If you think, the hard rock from the seventies uses the same chords from the sixties but with distortion. The same can be said about “Blight The Life” with a basic rock vibe but a little more edgy. This tune has a nice backing vocal in the chorus and could fall in the country territory. I am already loving the presence of the keyboard in every song.

We follow with “Wring It Out”. You can already feel the influences from  FACES with ROD STEWART. Raspy vocals and good chorus to sing along. This type of music is the right soundtrack for that crazy party in your living room on a cold winter night. The band has competent musicians including a sweet keyboardist and this is shown again on “Gurus And Gangsters”. Singer Sulo Karlsson seems to be the only member that never left and his vocal style matches the proposed output perfectly. A traditional raspy Rock and Roll singer and a traditional Rock and Roll band.

Next is “Down On The Debri Field” and I love this one. So many things come to mind… IGGY POP? Melodies are memorable, inviting you to sing along and the band’s delivery is solid. This band sounds so much like they come from the UK that it is hard to believe they are from Sweden. They have really captured the spirit of that UK scene in the seventies. “Only A Whim” is next and is sort of a ballad with a kind of a Punk delivery. The songs are short, simple and direct to the point. Easy to enjoy and sing along. However it does not mean the delivery is soft. It is good old edgy Rock that would make your parents worried in the nineties. It drank from all the right British Music sources from the sixties to the eighties. From Rock, Punk, Ska and all that was happening in that era without leaving the melodies behind and without loosing their signature sound.

If you listen to a DIAMOND DOG album 10 years ago it sounds pretty consistent until today. They are like AC DC. They do not change much and we should easily recognize any of their tunes only based on the style and delivery regardless if it was released today or 15 years ago. Next tune is “Desiree, Yet Another Lonely Mile” and it is fun Rock mixed with some elements of country. A concert from a band like this, you can go and get out with nothing left but good memories and some tunes stuck in your mind. The band can sometimes sound very American countryside rock and they do have some fun lyrics as well.

We follow with “Keep Drippin' Down” and it is another banger. The mood seems to be always up with this band in every track. Good arrangement and a cool keyboard solo with the guitar. The band had 2 guitar players until not long ago, but it settled for one at the moment it seems. Well seasoned musicians together with a well seasoned vocalist and composer, Sulo Karlsson have been trailing this road for many years and have experienced all the goods and the bads in the long road of Rock. You can feel that the melodies come easy as in “Old Timer” that seems to reflect that. The song starts with a mandolin or a banjo until it falls in a total Country Rock tune. It asks -Hey old timer, tell me where you gonna go. Am I supposed to learn from my mistakes? It seems like a self-reflection song. Good tune.

“Hearts Gone Wrong” is the 10th song in this full album and gets more edgier. Pure traditional Rock and Roll. Despite being consistent all these years, it seems that their sound slides more to the traditional Rock and Roll from the seventies with a great influence of British Rock and American Country. We have “Blowout Game” next and we have again the sweet guitar riffs so familiar to our years. Always in party mode and a little debauchery in every song. The band also has good backing vocals in some songs and this one is no different.

We finish this long review with “Rising From The Ruins (Of Rock 'N' Roll)” as the last song of this album. The number of songs on About The Hardest Nut To Crack shows the experience and creativity of the band. Putting 12 good songs together is not an easy task. The band finishes the album with the usual high energy and rising from the ruins as every Rock band should. I really like this release. It is sincere and it may be forgotten by the mainstream music media nowadays, but it is sooo good to know that some bands are still carrying the flag of the sixties and seventies Rock and making American music sounds British. But wait. They are from Sweden…

7 / 10









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"About The Hardest Nut To Crack" Track-listing:

1.Get A Rock 'N' Roll Record

2.Blight The Life

3.Wring It Out

4.Gurus And Gangsters

5.Down On The Debris Field

6.Only A Whim

7.Desiree, Yet Another Lonely Mile

8.Keep Drippin' Down

9.Old Timer

10.Hearts Gone Wrong

11.Blowout Game

12.Rising From The Ruins (Of Rock 'N' Roll)

Diamond Dogs Lineup:

Lars Karlsson- Guitar

Sulo Karlsson-Vocals

Henrik 'The Duke of Honk' Widén – Keyboard

Martin Tronsson – Bass

Johannes Nordell – Drums


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