Diamante - 'Coming In Hot' Album Review
1. Coming in Hot
2. Sound Of Us
3. Had Enough
4. Fight Like A Girl (F.L.A.G.)
5. I’m Sorry
9. Kind Of Love
10. Black Heart
11. Crazy On You
12. Definitely Not In Love
13. War Cry
14. Lo Siento
With her edgy style, sultry vocals, Pop sensibility, and unabashed swagger, Diamante draws from myriad influences and calls to mind legends from a spectrum of Rock icons including Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Bowie. As debut albums go there is a lot to get your teeth into with no less than fourteen tracks. The album was produced by Howard Benson (Chris Cornell, Kelly Clarkson, My Chemical Romance and Halestorm). Diamante is easily recognisable by her shocking blue hair, and sultry looks which come from her Mexican-Italian-American heritage.
This album is much anticipated, given that 'Coming In Hot', 'Sleepwalking' and 'Haunted' were released as singles in 2017, with the title track passing a million views on YouTube. 'Had Enough' was released in Feb this year and 'F.L.A.G.', 'Bulletproof' and 'War Cry' were released on a taster EP in April. So half of the debut album will be familiar to Diamante fans.
'Coming in Hot', the title track and first single released from the album, starts with an insanely catchy guitar riff that is reminiscent to that of 'I Love Rock n' Roll' by Joan Jet. It is a feel good track that sets you up for a party weekend. This would be a good track to crank up the volume on a Friday evening to set you up in the party zone. 'Sound Of Us' follows and is a defiant anthem with plenty of heavy percussion, and punchy lyrics. 'Had Enough', the fourth single from the album, is full of female empowerment and suggests that you do not want to get on the wrong side of Diamante. The opening lines give you a little clue; “I hate everyone that I meet, but I’m getting better. Think before I speak because I know I’ve got a temper. Think I’ve blown a fuse. There’s blood on my knuckles, the smile on my face is fake, and the vein on my head suggests you get running". I can take a hint! The track has a catchy riff that repeats throughout it and Diamante delivers the lyrics with a real rock swagger. The video to this track was an homage to 'Thelma and Louise'.
The sassiness continues with 'Fight Like A Girl', accompanied by the excellent musical arrangements, that are reminiscent of some of the best female Rock numbers of the 80s. You may think that the title is a derogatory term but the lyrics suggest otherwise with a clever twist “Hey boy take me on. I will prove you wrong. Put me up against the world. I will always fight Like A Girl”. This re-enforces one of my theories, that when male Rock acts sing with aggression they have rage, whereas female rockers deal with anger in a far cleverer way, I know which one I think is more dangerous!
The mid section of the album deasl with break ups and the aftermath of them from all angles. 'I'm Sorry' slows things down with a gentle keyboard introduction which sounds like the Italian influence coming through, crisp and subtle as a contrast to the previous tracks. The production is cleaner on this number, and the chorus builds nicely to suit the lyrics. "Even if you'll never wish me well. Even if you laugh while I burn in hell. Even if these words are an empty shell. I wanna say I'm sorry". The track has some great guitar licks. 'Haunted', the third single from the album is about moving on and the other person realising what they have lost. "Hey I'm getting under your skin. You're stuck with me 'til the end. How does it feel to be haunted, haunted?". The rapid bass strumming gives an ominous feeling, simple percussion progresses the track and the lyrics are delivered with control and really show of Diamante's range.
'Sleepwalking', which was the second single from the album, seems like the inverse of the previous track and as such, I think should have come before it on the album. This time the drums give the feeling of oppression, which is a clever reversal of the previous track. "I feel you in my dreams. You're everywhere, you won't go easily. I see you in my sleep. So I'm wide awake to keep you far from me." The vocal delivery is just as strong as 'Haunted'. So there is a strength you gain from a broken relationship that makes you feel 'Bulletproof'. A sole fuzzy guitar riff introduces this song, followed by some great lyrics. "They say there's hell to pay. You can keep the change if you want. When you're standing face to face. With the Devil taking you on". This song will resonate with most of us, which should make it a crowd favourite, and for me it is a stand out track.
'Kind Of Love' starts with looped chaos, and is a strong passionate track.. Given the simple repetition of the previous track 'Black Heart' has complex lyrics, which again by comparison starts with a simple guitar chords and drums. The track builds up to the chorus and then falls back to simplicity. "The whole world's a memory. What could've been of you and me. Before we burn down. Before we crash down". Although not a long song it has an epic feel to it.
The final third of this mammoth album starts with 'Crazy On You'. Fuzzy bassy guitars and heavy pounding drums signal that it's time to rock again. Diamante riffs her voice throughout this track, again showing her vocal skills and range. In parts she uses her voice as an instrument. 'Definitely Not In Love' is a fun three minute demonstration on how a powerful woman can shoot a man down with her putdowns. The put downs are spoken, with a catchy chorus and bridge with a full ensemble of backing singers. A scene that is sometimes fun to witness but not be the object of! 'War Cry' is a chant and the instrumentation supports it. In places the instrumentation seems to growl, however under the bravado, perhaps the strong are not as strong as they make out. 'Lo Siento' closes the album and if the intro sounds familiar, this will be because it is a reprise of 'I'm Sorry' sang in Spanish.
Although fourteen tracks seems a lot for a debut album, they only average out at three and a half minutes per song. So it is a long album but not so long it becomes an epic, and I do not know what you could cut from the track listing. There are good contrasts in the album and there is no doubting the musical prowess of Diamante and her band.
You are not likely to hear many better debut albums, than 'Coming In Hot', even if a lot of tracks are familiar given the drawn out single releases. Diamante not only shows her sassy and feisty side, but also allows us to glimpse her gentler side. With her Azure hair and sultry looks, combined with her swagger and irrepressible Rock vocals, she is a powerful woman who is her to stay. I for one dare not argue with her!
Coming in Hot is released on 15th June on the Better Noise Records label.
Website - www.thisisdiamante.com
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Review - Tony Creek