Diamond Youth have captured the bits and pieces of various genres and various bands, for example – Terror and Trapped Under Ice, but their music sways all over the place, in a good way. ‘Orange’ was the record that heralded how far they could go and now, ‘Shake’ expands much more profoundly on how much scope and musical range they have.
There’s a lot of candor in their emo-esque vibe which definitely nods big-time to 90s rock. Emo-revival bullshit aside, the broody rock atmosphere, the gloomy yet thumping bassline and the soft, grungy vocals add such a dark flavor to “Red Water”. It’s infectious in its own right and the contagious sonic signature flows neatly into “Can’t Shake The Feeling”, yet another of their solemn takes on 90s emo, which bands like Daylight, Title Fight, Citizen and Sainthood Reps garnered acclaim for recently. These are the more reticent and visceral tracks.
Cue the fuzzed-out guitars and clear, melodic vocals on the mid-tempo yet high energy “Don’t Feel Real” which is an electric-acoustic ballad of immense proportions. They toy with a lighter more explosive start come “Warm Scene” which quickly extinguishes itself into a warm, relaxed, flair-reduced structure a la Muse. They mix things up a lot on ‘Shake’ keeping it modern-oriented with throwbacks to the olden days yet totally not stale. A short burst of skate-punk emerges in “Maryland Ice Cream” before the decorum of the hidden track “Copy Cat” unfurls a la NIN. It’s a flat-lined, industrial spin on things that adds another dimension to the record.
Diamond Youth aren’t afraid to show their influences but still manage to let their inventiveness creep out. They’re non-formulaic and this non-linear musical progression is a recipe to have folks storming the camp in droves. With many bands trying too hard to fuse too much together, it falls flat as an insipid cavalcade of ‘just keep it simple’ but here, this band has the chops to mix and match to great effect. Here’s to more and then some. They’re ready to flourish on the big stage.
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