Brace yourselves: Canadian band Diemonds is back with a brand new album and it’s a stunner. Never Wanna Die is one of the best and most enjoyable albums I’ve listened to this year. Why? Because this is pure, face-melting, head-turning rock and roll moonshine. It’s been three years since the band released The Bad Pack, and the years since have not necessarily been easy for the band, but whatever they’ve been through, the band members have managed to channel all of that emotion and energy into something remarkable.
The band rips the lid off this musical can of hard-rocking whup-ass with the title track ‘Never Wanna Die’ – all heavy riffs and power-packed intensity – and after that they’ve got you: heart, guts, hook, line, and sinker. With Priya Panda simply outstanding on vocals, the band blasts through the zombie-glorious ‘Hell Is Full’ next, all swaggering attitude, switchblade sharp lyrics and blazing hot guitars; before launching into the roaring ‘Over It’, a rough and raw tour de force with a jagged, bleeding edge to it: “I’m over it / I wanna find a place I fit / before I start to fade”.
Just like this trinity of tracks, the rest of the album is fast and ferocious – and the whole thing seems fueled by an undercurrent of darkness and urgency that makes Never Wanna Die scream and twist and throb with life and energy.
The catchy, heavy-swinging ‘Ain’t That Kinda Girl’ is another killer track – with Panda burning up the vocals. Paired with Daniel Dekay’s and C.C. Diemond’s brawny guitar-work and some seriously heavy-hitting drums and bass, this track is pretty much irresistible.
All of Never Wanna Die is gloriously all-killer, no filler but I’ll give special mention to a few of my other favourites. There’s the superb ‘Forever Untamed’ – roaring and rumbling with distorted riffs, smashed up drums, and speeding vocals, plus a bass that digs deep into your chest; and also the speeding, road-burning, dark and heavy as f— ‘Meet Your Maker’ ‘you’re the one who tore my heart out / held it up for all to see’.
Final track ‘Save Your Life’ has a dirty, deep and heavy bass thud pumping through its veins, and more outstanding guitar work. Beyond that, this is a hard-rock anthem with a purpose – ‘here’s to the misfits’ – capturing that mixed-up joy and fear and pain and exhilaration of being young and wise and lost all at the same time: ‘17 and I’m young and mean and I’m on my own’ ‘holding onto something but it always slips away’. This track is so very, very good on every level, with Diemonds bringing it on for all the lost and fierce and crazy rock and rollers: ‘tonight tonight it’s gonna be alright’. It’s the kind of track I fall in love with a little bit more every time I listen to it.
Never Wanna Die is pumped full of the 1980s, yet doesn’t sound retro at all: it’s heavy, hard, rough and tough with just enough gloss and shine to make me hope this will make even more people sit up and take notice of this Canadian crew.
- Priya Panda: vocals
- C. C. Diemond: guitars
- Daniel Dekay: guitars
- Adam Zlotnik: bass
- Aiden Tranquada: drums
- Never Wanna Die
- Hell Is Full
- Over It
- Ain’t That Kinda Girl
- Better Off Dead
- Forever Untamed
- Wild At Heart
- Meet Your Maker
- Save Your Life