Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Free Diamonds-There Should Be More Dancing

April 1, 2006

freediamondsBand Name: Free Diamonds
Album Name: There Should Be More Dancing
Best Element: Ridiculously catchy, fun, and memorable
Genre: Dance-rock/post-punk
Website: www.freediamonds.co.uk
Label Name: Deep Elm Records (www.deepelm.com)
Band E-mail: booking’freediamonds.co.uk

I am that one guy at shows who stands right up to the front of the venue and dances around like crazy. When everyone else is sitting around staring at the band as they plead for some motion, I’m the one spazzing out up front. I’m a dancer- and bunches of bands have commended various audiences to be more like me. People ask me why I do it, and I usually give some reply like “There should be more dancing in the world” or “things are better when you dance.”

So when I got an album titled [u]There Should Be More Dancing[/u], you can guess how fast that album got slapped in my CD player. And you know what? Free Diamonds does believe that there should be more dancing- because this is a spazzy, bass-heavy, dance-or-else party of an album.

And when I said bass-heavy, I mean bass-heavy. This threesome is propelled by the bass guitar- from the punked-out chorus riff of “List of Everyone” to the grooving lead riff of “Blind Boys” to the funktastic “Like Giraffes” to the unclassifiable distorted bass charge of “J.P.L.D.”, the bass player owns this album. That’s not to say that the guitars don’t contribute- they definitely do, as they take the lead on songs like “Modern Day Pirates” and “Land of Giants”- but even when the guitar leads, the bass contribution pushes to much more than it could’ve been on its own. And that’s fantastic, because the bassist is amazing, and the more lines we can get out of him, the better.

The aforementioned guitars act almost like ska guitars, serving up clipped chords in a bright guitar tone. The guitar tone is very wiry and frenetic, lending even more wild passion to the sound. The drums act like a referee, holding the huge bass noise and the bright guitar tone at arm’s length, so that they never kill each other- just flirt with the idea of self-destruction. They’re permanently on the edge of coming apart, but they never do- just one more feather in their cap.

The vocals are completely nuts. There’s two vocalists here, although their vocal tones are so close to each other that I can’t tell them apart. The sound I hear is a freaked-out yelp of a voice- a wild, bizarre, manic voice that lends even more energy to the sound. The vocalists hardly ever sing slowly- the voice sounds much better spitting out syllables rapid-fire. The melodies are what make this album, though- whether they be vocal or bass, the melodies here are incredibly catchy and memorable. And when I say it’s incredibly catchy, I mean it- I’ve been singing Free Diamonds lines for weeks.

The lyrics which they spit out are a strange brew- sometimes deep, sometimes intentionally silly, often name-checking themselves (not unlike a rap band would), they’re just as wild and out there as Free Diamonds themselves.

The best song here is undeniably the 2:00 freak-out that is “Lovers Die Young”. Sounding almost like the soundtrack to a Carnival commercial, the bass player outdoes himself, delivering a ridiculously fast, complex, cool-sounding bass line for the vocalist to lay his vocals over. The guitars throw in some interjections here and there, but mostly it’s just the bass player, the drummer, and the vocalist going at it for two straight minutes, ending up in a repeated call of “Lovers die young!! Lovers die young!!” When it’s that passionate, I’m inclined to believe it while I’m dancing my feet off.

I could go through and list every cool riff and melody in this album, but it would take forever and you wouldn’t be getting the full experience. Every song is a brilliantly composed bass-heavy, dance-inspiring freak-out. I can’t listen to this album without wanting to dance, and I’m pretty sure no one else can either. This ain’t conventional dance-rock- it’s about seven times better than that. At least. Do yourself a favor and get some Free Diamonds. Because as they say, “What Part of Free Diamonds Don’t You Understand?”

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses’hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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