(Album Review) DIAMOND DOGS - Slap Bang Blue Rendezvous
Release date: January 21, 2022 (Wild Kingdom Records)
Written by Jeff Tighe
Slap Bang Blue Rendezvous is the 11th studio album of new material from Swedish rock'n'roll veterans Diamond Dogs. This is the band's second release in their latest incarnation after their 2019 resurrection following a four year hiatus. Having released their first album in 1994, these boys have developed a musical style that was prevalent in the 1970s rock scene, but which few bands still utilize. The band produces party rock'n'roll that is often reminiscent of Cheap Trick, both old and new.
This latest effort is essentially a double album with 23 songs and running over 80 minutes. It starts off strong enough, with "Alright Brutus I'm On", perhaps the best track opening things as a fast paced rock'n'roll number. The second song, "What If I Knocked" is another faster, rocking number that allows vocalist and founder Soren Karlsson to stretch his vocals. Karlsson's vocals are strong, with a good mix of clean vocals with enough rough edge to make them fit the proceedings. The instruments include piano, organ and saxophone, so you know you are in for some old school rock here.
Another great rocker is "Rocked, Wrecked, Robbed & Ruined", with instrumentals that remind this reviewer of latter-era Nazareth. Other standout tracks include "You Shouldn't Be Lonely on am Saturday Night", "Golden Wheel" "Sunday Haze" and "Common Form of Life".
But this album simply goes on far too long. There are half a dozen ballads, and even more songs than that which are mid-paced light rock songs that are not particularly interesting. They are pleasant enough to listen to when they are on, but they don't inspire the desire to hear them again. Many of them are simply not that well written, missing the catchy hook that this type of music demands. Had Slap Bang Blue Rendezvous been 9 songs and 35 minutes long it would have been far better (as long as the right songs were included).