Posted on: July 7, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Black Diamond Heavies – Every Damn Time / 2007 Alive / 10 Tracks / / /

“Fever In My Blood” is the first track on “Every Damn Time”, and it starts out with a schizophrenic drum beat that finally gets reined in about a minute into the track. The guitars and other elements of the band gradually insert themselves into the mix, until a very sixties influenced type of rock presents itself. There is a great deal of bass as the vocals come out with a gritty, rough sound that fits the rest of instrumentation well.

The band only needs a few minutes to introduce themselves to the listeners, and listeners will know what to expect by the opening of “Every Damn Time”’s second track, “All To Hell”. “All To Hell” continues the vocal tradition that opened up the disc. While the band plays a rock style that is influenced by earlier blues music, the vocals are more directly related to this blues tradition. John’s vocals on this track sound as if an old blues god came to the present day and played with a current act. What results is a band that is playing an older rock style but with common sensibilities, being headed up by an individual that I would expect to find on the porch of a shack down in New Orleans. The band can meander around for a few minutes, as is the case with “All To Hell”, or they can go towards a faster, more bone-shattering song in “Leave it in the Road”.

The band keeps themselves fresh by inserting hints of psychedelia to their general sound during “Leave It In The Road”. This is done by including a keyboard into the mix that reminds me of The Animals, specifically during their cover of “House of the Rising Sun”. Black Diamond Heavies are an act that play rock as it is supposed to be played; heavy, grungy, and dirty. This is the music of bars and juke joints, instead of 40,000 seat arenas. This is what you listen to when you are getting absolutely faced, and Black Diamond Heavies do not try to change their sound for anybody. This is why the band is so sincere and why tracks like “Poor Brown Sugar” are so catchy, so primeval.  If you like what the White Stripes are trying to do with their “Icky Thump”, give the Black Diamond Heavies a listen. I guarantee you will be even more into them than you are into the stripes, they are that solid.

Top Tracks: Poor Brown Sugar, All To Hell

Rating: 7.4/10

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