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'Dynamite Drug Diamond'
(Sober Up Records)

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus


Described by the promotional material I received as post hardcore/original emo, you instantly identify roughly what they're going to sound like.

Their latest album was released in November and is acknowledged as their third studio album. 'Dynamite Drug Diamond' I suppose can be seen as a celebration of around sixteen years of existence as this French band tackle a sound and style they are very comfortable wearing and from the eleven tracks on show, you cannot really dispute their emotional input and approach to their craft.

The guitars are relentless as they swirl to the mix of angst-driven barking and shouting and emotive singing. The maelstrom does change gear but doesn't know how to avoid being intense, so embrace if you're having a tough time dealing with the New Year. 'Run And Run And Die' clocking in at just over six minutes is a highlight amongst other genuine moments like album opener 'Highway Encounter' and the subdued 'Eve Of Ceasefire Talks'.

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This quintet, who hail from Lille, achieves merging melancholy flavours in their sound and I feel it's thanks to the guitar textures.

Xavier Damarey and Sebastien Caplier influence the tone of each song by either presenting some distortion or a jangly guitar sound, instantly informing the listener of a mood that is captured. Listen to 'Wrong Place Wrong Time' with its constantly evolving guitar backdrop; one moment almost whimsical and perky; the next a brutal attack.

Guests provide subtle additional instrumentation assisting 'Dynamite Drug Diamond' to reach some exciting new places. There's a viola on the instrumental album closer 'Roses Out Of Chaos' and a trumpet on 'Hellissandur' which only enhances what is an album highlight.

'To Wake Up With A Broken Heart' fades in to life and then it's business as usual. 'Lost In Prayers' continues the momentum and after a few listens, this album really feels like a solid and comfortable collection of songs.

This album might well be a new discovery for those who like their bands in the mould of At The Drive-In or a medley of styles that echo their sentiment. It isn't an album that you can just hit play to in order to provide a soundtrack to anything that you're doing, it's mood-dependant.

All of those involved in shaping and sculpting this album should be quietly proud of what they have achieved. Considering their last album was released in 2006, ('Another Thousand Days, Out Of This World') they obviously like to take their time and showcase their music when they are absolutely satisfied with it.

As Tang reveal on the inlay card of 'Dynamite Drug Diamond'; "No creation in this world is a solo effort."

Highway Encounter
Run And Run And Die
Paint In Black
Eve Of Ceasefire Talks
In Loving Memories
Wrong Place Wrong Time
To Wake Up With A Broken Heart
Lost In Prayers
Life Of Shooting Stars
Roses Out Of Chaos

Bastien Gournay : Drums + vocals
Xavier Damarey : Guitar + vocals
Maxime Hedouin : Bass
Sebastien Caplier : Guitar + vocals
Gaêl Nocq : Lyrics

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