Low vs Diamond – s/t

Low vs Diamond - s/t

Low vs Diamond - s/t

Low vs Diamond, not to be confused with Low, or any number of bands with the word diamond in their name (i.e., My Brightest Diamond, Lavender Diamond, Diamond Nights, Diamond Watch Wrists…) comes across as a smooth, assured blend of bands like The Killers, The Strokes, Lovedrug, The Cinematics, and Del Amitri, cornering the market on polished indie-rock songs with a crisp, refined sound, sticky melodies, upbeat to mid-tempo pace, and grandly declarative, rousing choruses. 

The members of this American band (Lucas Field on lead vocals and guitar, Anthony Polcino on lead guitar and backing vocals, Tad Moore on keyboards and guitar, Jon Pancoast on bass guitar, and Howie Diamond on drums) know a thing or two about song structure and build songs with bold hooks and catchy refrains that are complex enough to sustain listener interest. 

The interplay of guitars flows with sweeping ease, even when wiry or distorted, and frontman Lucas Field’s expressive vocals mirror this style, as he sings or sing-talks in a clear, medium tone that can transition quickly to a higher, sweeter register.  There’s a gentle touch to his vocals, where each word is well-pronounced and place precisely within the context of the song.  The pace of the drums and bass line is dynamic and changeable and keyboard notes dance nimbly in the mix.

“Killer B” is a killer, and The Killers-like, pop song that is extremely infectious in a hard-to-shake, sing-along way.  It boasts a Franz Ferdinand-like marching beat and hard, wiry guitars on the verses, followed by strongly reeling guitars on the chorus.  Lucas sing-talks in a lower intonation on the verses, turning his plaintive vocals upward at the end of phrases, and on the chorus as he proclaims “…now you’re in my head and I can’t see / killer b, causing my demise / you sting my eyes, killing me.”

There are a few melancholic ballads on the album but they never turn too maudlin, including “Actions are Actions” with its bright piano notes, bass line, shimmering cymbals, and the reflective lyrics “We’ve gotten older / and things have gotten colder…”, and “Annie” with piano notes, slowly pulled cello lines, and Lucas emoting in anguish, sounding a bit like Jeff Buckley, coming close, but not tipping over the edge.  Lucas takes on a lower tone on the mid-tempo “Wasted”, again sounding like Jeff Buckley, slightly tremulous and wearily sing-talking “Honey, leave me alone / I’m livin’ just fine on my own.” against light keyboard notes.

“Cinema Tonight” is all flourishing romanticism opposed by a dash of reality as the fast-tempo start of drum beat, cymbal crash, and bass line make way for runs of chiming guitars and Lucas singing wistfully of the time “…when you drifted off the screen / and stepped into my life / I found a reason to be real…”