Released: June 12, 2021
Toronto’s Diamond Weapon, a post-hardcore outfit, are about to release a new six-track EP named Eyes.
Diamond Weapon is a band that tells stories, which range from topics of justice, burden ship, gun violence, romance and heartbreak. As much as possible, they try to present their view of the world in an un-didactic way, from their personal perspectives or from those of the characters they create in their songwriting. This new offering, Eyes, attempts to give an outlet to help others work through their feelings both positive and negative.
Musically, there is much to like here. Some of the guitar work is soothing, while stirring up emotions. There are nice uses of dissonance, leaning almost into shoegaze territory. At times aggressive, veering back to the hardcore sides of things, rather than the post-hardcore. Opening with The End Of Winter, which in essences is an introductory piece, but one with a solid feeling about it. Gloomy yet with hope that sun may pierce through those grey clouds at any moment. Perhaps at their pinnacle moments during The House On 65th Street, a heartfelt ditty about the fickle nature of romantic relationships.
The opening riffs on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy are also quite tasty chops. Sometimes visiting the first wave of Emo, with hints at pop punk blended in. Maybe even some indie rock, too. The stop-and-go riffing at the start of The Academy Of Young Lions though, feels odd and amateurish. The type of thing young garage bands come out with in their early days.
There are moments on Eyes that are quite haunting, interesting and heartfelt. There are others that are downright cheesy and sappy. And not in a good way. To the point of being unintentionally comical and hilarious – like a bad 80’s after school special. Some of the lyrics are so cringeworthy and lame, that the serious nature Diamond Weapon attempt to portray is completely lost. Unfortunately, the solid moments I mentioned are drowned out by the tragically awkward moments. I can barely stomach how raunchy these six songs are.
Truthfully, I see what these guys are trying to accomplish here, but it fails badly and falls flat on it’s collective face. The vocal style on Eyes is very reminiscent of some of the spoken word portions of mid-90s hardcore records. Stuff that I found pretty interesting at the time, but Diamond Weapon – not so much. The delivery of these spoken word vocals has no ebb, no flow. No connection to the music it is spoken over. Rhythm be damned, and more often than not, these vocals do not work. At all. Maybe they can be perfected and honed into something down the line, time will tell.
Although Eyes isn’t something I overly enjoyed, I see promise for future releases. There are some interesting ideas present here, and with some polish, Diamond Weapon could potentially refine their sound and find their path. Many artists emerged from rough beginnings to find their true calling. On Eyes, however, the lyrics of Nick Richards seem too raw, too vulnerable – and as a result, it all feels forced and insincere. Hard to take seriously.
Digital copies can be pre-ordered from Diamond Weapon’s bandcamp page. No word, as of yet, on physical copies.
For Fans Of: Refused, At the Drive-In, La Dispute
01. The End Of Winter
02. Revenge Is Not A Dish, It’s A Concept
03. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
04. The Academy Of Young Lions
05. The House On 65th Street
06. I’m Sorry, For Everything