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The Diamond Man Clan – Mediocre Award winner

The Diamond Man Clan
Mediocre
by Anton Sanatov at 02 July 2017, 5:13 PM

“The only truth is music.” Jack Kerouac

They say the world is a cold place; they say it’s cruel too. It is in this new world that ‘feeling’ has become a mineral of scarce supply and passion remains a strained filament that aches in the eclipse of efficiency. Yet if you look beyond the gloomy platitudes, dig deep and shed the remaining light upon the caverns of your yearning, there’s still a chance you’ll find a gem that glistens with pure joy.

A fistful of goodness can be a hard thing to come by when you’re rummaging through shrubs of mediocrity – of which, one can agree, there is a plentiful supply in the modern musical landscape. Yet sometimes, when you hand reaches reach into that cold, saturated stream, it happens upon that coveted shiny nugget of compelling artistry, and on their sophomore effort “Mediocre” the Swedish Rock outfit THE DIAMOND MAN CLAN show that they may indeed have what it takes to start a gold rush.

“Mediocre” comes in hard with its punchy title track, swinging on a strong, groovy blues riff that, accompanied by the muscle of the drums, exudes a haughty, albeit wise aura of tailor-made three-piece; i.e. - it owns the room. Yet whilst the Blues Rock opening track is one that may perhaps appear on any quality Indie offerings within this genre – and there are more of such further down the track list with the likes of “The Corner” - what follows this bluesy maverick is a jam that sets a truly high musical standard for the rest of the record – and it is the catchy modern classic that is “Sweet Carolina”. The track is the embodiment of fine songsmanship, managing to create a compelling, soulful up-beat ballad that is poised and heartfelt without being overly saccharine; a triumph that is only echoed by the album’s other joyous highlight that is “A Reason and a Way”, a New-Wave-esque, bass driven, night ride down a monochromatic highway of voguish poignancy and personal resolution.

“Mediocre” is most certainly a record for a somewhat refined palate; being soaked in that authentic, archaic quality of Jack White’s musical fetishes with the somewhat timid, more mature attitude of grunge-era greats like TEMPLE OF THE DOG (“Call Me A Dog” and “Four Walled World” in particular spring to mind) and MARK LANEGAN - with mandatory hints of ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE. Yet although it is a Blues Rock record, what makes it stand out is the addition of ‘beat generation’ strokes and Bob Dylan-inspired Folk lightheartedness of tracks like “Help Me Love Again”. The production on the record also adds to its magnificence; the mix is flawless and the sound is clear as an Alaskan lake – both of which help capture the strong and untainted passion of the performers. The record however, does have a tendency to rely on slow Blues jams in the likes “Numbing the Brain” and “Promise Thief”, which, although three-dimensional and intense, can make the album drag in parts and dim its already rugged, brushed gleam ever so slightly; but this may simply be a moment of somewhat justified nit-picking.

Overall – “Mediocre” looks through the retinas of blue-eyed soul into rich musical waters of pure passion. DIAMOND MAN CLAN gather a classy blend of influences – from Blues to Southern Rock to Motown – and deliver on of the most mature records that you’ll hear in while. It rocks, it cradles, and it enlightens; it is music that will raise you spirit to deserved heights.

Songwritng: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mediocre
2. Sweet Carolina
3. Help Me Love Again
4. Numbing the Brain
5. Wade
6. A Reason and a Way
7. The Huntsmen and the Hounds
8. Hanging from a Rope
9. Promise Thief
10. The Corner
11. The Blood That I Bleed
Lineup:
Paul Bäcklin
Johan Weber
Felix Hjortstam
Olof Gadd
Anton Olofsson
Record Label: Gain/Sony Music
     


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