Glitter Rock, Ziggy Stardust, Blondie, Pat Benatar, Missing Persons, Berlin, New Wave…
Those are the images that are sure to flash through your head as you watch the video for “The Last Rock Star” by Diamond Baby (any relation to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs?), the electro-pop band led by drummer Matt Sorum (Guns & Roses/Velvet Revolver).
Certainly, Diamond Baby have adopted the Bowie/Ziggy Stardust nom de plume affect, as Sorum goes by the name Baron Von Storm. Rounding out the band are the very Debbie Harry-esque “Ace of Diamonds” (lead vocals), “Mr. Fitz” (bass guitar), “Lisa the Lover” (keyboards), “Duke Oz” (guitar).
If I’ve devoted the review thus far to their image, it’s only because it's an integral part of the band. Diamond Baby are obviously influenced heavily by ‘70s Glitter Rock and '80s New Wave, both visually and musically. Just don't be too distracted by the image and the funny names. Below all the icing is very solid musicality. They haven’t let style eclipse substance - albeit, glittery substance.
(© 2011, DC3 Music Group)
The five-songs previewed on their Web site are apparently part of an entire album that they’ve already recorded (no information is available currently on a release date), and serve as a great teaser that leaves you wanting more. Like their image, Diamond Baby wear their musical influences on their sleeves – gritty Lower East Side lyrics, Debbie Harry-meets-Pat Benatar vocals over a bed of vintage electronica, tight guitars, pulsating bass, and processed drums. What elevates the whole affair from being a novelty exercise in kitschy nostalgia is the super-catchy, killer melody and the decidedly modern, radio-friendly production.
On a gimmicky silly note, I love the Jem-like trail of sparkle that follows your mouse as you run it over all the pages of Diamond Baby’s Web site!