Diamond Dogs – Set Fire To It All Review

diamonddogs_setfiretoitall_cover Diamond Dogs - Set Fire To It All Review

Released by: Legal Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: http://www.smilodon.se/DiamondDogs.htm

 

Line Up:

Sulo (lead vocals)

Fredrik Fagerlund (guitar)

Lars Karlsson (guitar)

Martin Tronsson (bass)

Johannes Drain (drums)

Duke of Honk (keyboards)

Magic Gunnarsson (saxophone)

 

Tracklist:

01. On The Sunny Side Again

02. Set Fire To It All

03. Mama Let The Mad Dog Run

04. Scars And Emblems

05. Lay Me Down On Solid Ground

06. Bad But Not Ruined

07. Ball Of Lightning

08. The Inner Jukebox Blues

09. Sweethearts For Christmas

10. Burn One Down

11. Nothing Can Change This Love

12. Stand By The Rhythm

 

As much I try to stay on top of whatever is current, cutting-edge or for lack of a better word “hip” in the world of rock music, there’s no denying that my personal tastes lie more toward the classic rock side of things. As a big fan of all things eighties-inspired it’s fair to say that the last few years have been very good musically and the amount of bands releasing high-quality material in this vein is quite ridiculous really. But so far 2012 has had a little bit of different feel to it. Yes, there’s still been some truly awesome eighties inspired records so far from bands like H.E.A.T, DYNAZTY, SUNSTORM and a few others, but it seems that this year it’s the seventies inspired rock acts that are pumping out the gems.

First we had an extra-special release from FOXY SHAZAM, and while it had modern elements there’s no denying the album was a love letter to all-things seventies, then a great follow-up release from IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC and a couple of other lower-profile gems too. The latest record to tread this path is SET FIRE TO IT ALL, the new one from Sweden’s boogie-rock legends DIAMOND DOGS (always thought that was an excellent band name BTW).

For those that don’t instantly recognize the name, DIAMOND DOGS have been around since the early nineties and the easiest way to describe their sound is seventies boogie-rock. But they also manage to incorporate some folk-ish rock, some old-school blues, some honky-tonk and a touch of glam. Sort of an amalgamation of ROLLING STONES, AC/DC, DAVID BOWIE, CHEAP TRICK, STATUS QUO, ALICE COOPER BAND and a even a touch of DR. HOOK. They are also comparable to a few latter day acts like QUIREBOYS and THE BLACK CROWES. So in the simplest terms, if simplistic, easy to listen to classic rock isn’t your bag then it’s safe to say there is nothing of value here for you, but if the combination of the above mentioned bands excites you then SET FIRE TO IT ALL should definitely be on your purchase list.

I won’t go through every song on offer here, but I will mention a few of the highlights that made this one of my most played records of 2012 so far. First and foremost is the opening track ON THE SUNNY SIDE AGAIN which is one of the best songs the ROLLING STONES never wrote in the seventies, it also features a guest vocal spot from QUIREBOYS leader SPIKE. LAY ME DOWN ON SOLID GROUND is a perfect bar rock tune and a real blue collar cruiser. BALL OF LIGHTNING has a similar effect as the what the occasional acoustic based Keith Richards tune used to offer on a STONES album and is a great little interlude. BURN ONE DOWN is pure blues, and it’s combination of a little bit of honky-tonk piano and a dual vocal that sits apart just enough makes it really feel liker a lost gem from the seventies. STAND BY THE RHYTHM is a real hand-clapping sing-along tune that would be very fun live and had a great message. One last tune I’d like to draw your attention to is NOTHING CAN CHANGE THIS LOVE, which as some of you may guess is a cover of song originally written and performed by soul music legend Sam Cooke. It’s actually a little sad that the modern iteration of soul music has gone more toward the RnB style, as back in the earlier days the best souls stuff was ripe for the picking as far as inspiration for rock bands, and this excellent cover version simply verifies that no end.

SET FIRE TO IT ALL is simply a great album that can be enjoyed by anybody that likes the simpler side of rock music and I am happy to recommend it as a definite purchase for all seventies rock aficianados. One thing that I though was a slight error though was to have a guest vocal on the opening track. I think it would have been better for the overall flow of the album to have had it around the half-way point rather than the instrumental track that is on offer. Do yourself a favor and go check it out now…

 

Written by Zeezee

Ratings    Zeezee   9/10

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