The Diamond Sea - Second Move

Mike Hughes 02/10/2010

Rating: 3/5

Opening track 'Stealing' twangs lazily and pleasantly with an aching feeling for a dream that probably never existed - tales of flying or sailing away to France or Spain, there to do romantically naughty things like nicking Beaujolais or a Jaguar. It depends really whether you can buy into this summery day's dream. After a few times round the headphones, the answer is that yes, The Diamond Sea can overcome even the cynicism of a Sunday night train journey with their upcoming album Second Move.

It is a help to know at this point that this Leeds based band (to distinguish them from several others similarly named after the Sonic Youth track) are a making a positive effort to play instruments rather than electronics.

The album harks of the paisley underground if you were to transpose that particular groove for a while to the North of England. Which is not such a stretch given the musical subtext in 'Damn Down', which does at some points feel more Pennine than Baja. Being someone that derides the cliche of a 'this' or 'that' sound, I'd better put my money where my mouth is and drill into that. The vocal line is dreamy and airy enough but then slides slowly into something musically like flat northern vowels. I'm not saying it like it's a bad thing, just trying to work out why there's Cloughy alongside the Roback influences.

Guitar strings remain the order of the day, although on 'Brand New' they are allowed to grow a pair courtesy of nicely buzzy amp which sits nicely next to some lovely harmony

The highlight track is 'On A Night Like This' - nicely laid back oooo-hoooo's sat alongside the most beautifully recorded drums I've heard in a while, the bounce of sticks on snare head clearly articulated and adding to the intimacy, the singing sounding like hippies have taken over the cathedral.

Overall, if you ever a fan of Murray Head, this is well worth a listen. Subdued enough, but sometimes that's what you need, and it lends itself to losing yourself.

4.Brand New by Anthonygdli