Diamond Dogs – Quitters And Complainers (Livewire/Cargo Records)
Genre: Rock N Roll
Just as the UK’s Quireboys were on the slide, a jovial collective of kindred spirits were kicking off their own long and winding rock and roll journey.
Sweden’s Diamond Dogs – like Spike and co. – were never that bothered about updating a sound trailed by the Rolling Stones and the Small Faces but their Scandinavian take on bar room bluster always boasted a distinctive, sleazy edge.
Very much the right band at the wrong time, grunge cast its cruel shadow over their craft in the early days but a lack of sustained commercial success didn’t faze a prolific and wildly optimistic songwriting unit. Four albums in four years ensured a rapidly expanding fan base and the Dogs didn’t really stop.
Yet for a while it seemed as if 2012’s Set Fire To It All might mark the finale to a fitfully sensational yet frustratingly unfulfilled career. Three years later and they’re back – minus the much-missed saxophonist Mats Magic Gunnarsson – and Quitters And Complainers is the sound of a triumphant return to form.
It’s still edgy, still sleazy and still, at times, very much like a classic Quireboys record. And that’s a good thing. Back To Babylon is brilliantly conceived and the Gunnarson tribute Black Ribbons is achingly honest.
Diamond Dogs may be a little more downbeat in their old age but the reality of the rock and roll dream must surely be dawning on these great survivors. Penultimate track Rollercoaster says it all.
As a bonus – and doubling up as an opportunity to showcase the late Gunnarsson in all of his glory – there’s a live disc featuring a typically raucous Spanish set. Eighteen tracks of adrenaline-fuelled frenzy race by in a flash. It’s fun. But it’s the quality of the new material that proves there’s plenty of life in the old Dogs yet. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Diamond Geezers