Staff Rating

4.75/5

User Rating

5/5

Diamond - Don't Lose Your Cool

AKelly   (133 reviews)

Posted: 11/26/2011 | Comments: 7 | Rate:

Before I start this review, I just wanted to say that the track listing from the mp3s that I received and the ones from other sites that already reviewed this EP are different. But no matter how you put the tracks in order, it's still a great set of songs.

The band includes 2 members from Trapped Under Ice (Brendan Yates-Drums and Sam Trapkin-Lead Guitar) and a member of Terror/Down To Nothing (David Wood-Bass in Terror and Vocalist in DTN), but don't be fooled: it's not a hardcore "supergroup." Rather, they are fueled by "90's alternative music, skateboarding, and girls."

This EP starts out with the A Capella track "Don't Lose Your Cool," much like we heard from "Don't Belong," from the bands' first EP (DMND). The first full-on track is "The Feeling," which showcases the bands' great use of dynamics. All of the members know when to play full-on and when to pull back on the energy. Vocalist Justin Gilman's voice is one of the key factors of this band, offering a very laid-back approach when necessary and a more aggressive style when needed. Sam Trapkin's lead work shines throughout, with a very simple-yet-effective tactic that makes you believe he chose each note for a reason. The lead line in this song is one of my favorites from any of their songs.

The next song is "Fix of Mine," which got me excited to hear this EP when the band put it streaming on the internet. This has arguably the catchiest chorus on the record. Full of guitar melodies and vocal harmonies, a great hook, and again a great use of dynamics, there's nothing not to love about this track.

The next song is "Fly Solo," which starts off with a clean arpeggiated chord progression. This makes it even easier to keep wanting to listen through the whole EP; the variety of sounds is refreshing. The song builds up from the soft chord progression to adding a groovy bass-and-drums backbone, then to a heavy, catchy chorus. (P.S. Did I hear cowbell?) The song finishes up with another one of Gilman's melodic "oooohs."

"Keep Dreamin'" showcases Gilman's falsetto in the beginning, and follows through with the DMND formula. That is, full of dynamics, groove, and sing-along-ability, making this another solid cut. I love the addition of acoustic guitar and tambourine under the chorus as well. The outro is fantastic, having a guitar melody paired up with Gilman's voice was a great idea. Then there's a little acoustic/vocal thing after the song ends (not sure who that was, but I'm guessing it was a friend of the bands.')

"Pleasantries" has my favorite solo by Trapkin on the EP. It absolutely wails, and his use of non-key tones fit perfectly, along double-stops and a great feel. The tone is great, and the doubling on it is fantastic. After seeing Trapped Under Ice last night and as much as I love his shredding leads, this proves he really knows what he's doing as a lead player no matter what genre. As a lead guitar player that tries to stay as open-minded with music as possible, I have the utmost respect for that quality.

Last up is "Sunburn." This track actually uses the opposite way of thinking in that the verse is high-energy, while the chorus is incredibly laid back. This was welcome, as variety is refreshing with any music. Another incredibly catchy chorus it is, "Am I a fool for ever thinking you're cool?"
So as you can tell, I enjoyed this EP a LOT. Lately I've been listening to Big Kiss Goodnight the most (Trapped Under Ice) along with Darker Half (Backtrack), and Outer Isolation (Vektor) recently, but I could use a change of pace, and I found it here.

That said, there is no such thing as a perfect record (or EP). The only negative I can find is this: I can't say I was a fan of the bass tone, as it was too muddy and not punchy enough for my liking. And it goes without saying that the lyrical content isn't exactly uncharted territory, but who am I to say that's a bad thing for this type of music?

Overall, I recomm

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Comments
still oh so ill
8,438 Posts
38/M/MD
Hey homey... fix your formatting. I'm REALLY interested in reading about this record, but this review is a jumbled mess.
The Winter's Wrath
7,923 Posts
47/M/PA
Agreed. Space your paragraphs at least, it hurts my eyes.
Adam Kelly
158 Posts
25/M/PA
My bad guys, I'm re-posting it now.
Yes, We know...
7,495 Posts
41/M/PA
Guys, dont lose your cool...
still oh so ill
8,438 Posts
38/M/MD
REVIEWING RECORDS AIN'T NO GAME, YO.



Yo, to the dude who wrote this... I didn't mean to come off as a dick. I just know that if I typed my joint like that and didn't notice, I'd want someone to clue me in.
Adam Kelly
158 Posts
25/M/PA
It's all good, I appreciate it. This is my second review, I'm glad that someone pointed it out so I don't keep doing that.
The Winter's Wrath
7,923 Posts
47/M/PA
Looks much better, Gib. Keep it up!

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