Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
Frontiers Records has a talent for finding and promoting new rock bands, whether it’s a “super group” (see this month’s review of W.E.T.), or a brand new band like Sweden’s Diamond Dawn. These Swedish lads have been working their way up through the ranks since 2011, with OVERDRIVE marking their full length debut.
For fans of ‘80s AOR and melodic rock, Diamond Dawn will likely be your favorite new band. The band’s music is as smooth and shiny as the cover art implies; featuring heavily layered keyboards, catchy hooks, clarion-clear vocals, and just enough bite in the guitars to make sure the whole thing doesn’t collapse in a poppy pile of goo. Yes, this is for unabashed fans of Harem Scarem, Pride of Lions, Journey, etc. Expect ballads a plenty, the requisite “heavy” song (“Turn It Up”), and lots of mid-paced sing-along rock; the band delivers it all, and they do it in style.
You don’t listen to a band like this and expect a lot of innovation and hell, the band even admits their commitment to “classic” melodic rock, but the issue I have with this album is that it doesn’t quite find the sweet spot where every song is memorable. I can sing the chorus to “Into Overdrive” and “Turn It Up” in my head right now, but the rest of the album just hasn’t stuck with me. This is another case of the album being enjoyable while it’s on, but forgotten pretty quickly after it’s done.
It may not be for a lot of heavy metal fans, but for those of us that don’t mind the lighter side of things, OVERDRIVE is definitely worth a listen.