'Alice' has been releasing steadily over the past few years and there's been no shortage of experimentation from the tough Grungy Rock of 'Brutal Planet' to his last release 'The Eyes Of …', which reflected back to 'Alice's' classic 70's sound. 'Dirty Diamonds' continues in the same vein as the predecessor and as with that release, is too uneven to be ranked with his best material. Lyrically the album is as strong as you would expect and incorporates that splendid brand of humour 'Alice' is renowned for, but at times it feels like he's just going through the motions, which leaves a potentially good album relatively mediocre.
The amusingly titled 'Woman of Mass Distraction' kicks things off on a good footing, nice guitar driven intro, classic pulsating rhythm and 'Alice's' vocals still on surprisingly good form, this is all tied together with characteristic lyrics for a solid opener. The 'Beatlesque' 'Perfect' follows and overlooking some humorous moments is a fairly run-off-the-mill affair, while 'You Make Me Wanna' is a strong rocker, spoilt by irritating background vocals. The title track opens with a haunting intro reminiscent of 'King Crimson', only to develop as a riff fuelled rocker, graced with some interesting horn section usage, nice fret work and clever arrangements. 'The Saga of Jesse Jane' is a Country sounding track, I for one can't stand this genre and can't even be bothered to listen to the song for it full duration- next. 'Sunset Babies' opens like 'Wild Flowers' by the 'Cult' only to evolve into a 'Stones' reminiscent mid tempo rocker, lyrically not up to most tracks and spoilt by a poor chorus. Next up is the dainty ballad 'Pretty Ballerina' and I'm going to surprise most of you readers and say I like it, yeah, this 60's cover is a delicate yet haunting number, which works especially well with 'Alice's' vocals. What a title 'Run Down the Devil' is, shame the song doesn't live up to expectations, this is the only song on the album that could be from 'Dragontown', a modern sounding, down tempo piece, that's a tad sluggish and repetitive for my liking. Brisker is the inadvisably titled 'Steal that Car', a lively rocker that despite it's energetic approach is lyrically light by 'Alice's' standards and ultimately pretty throwaway. The tempo falls for the bluesy 'Six Hours', a nicely executed track, which highlights a fine vocal performance from 'Alice', that said a big side-step from the genres I usually listen to. Returning to the classic 'Alice' sound is the short rocker 'Your Own Worst Enemy', cleverly penned with amusing anecdotes and braced by some solid fret work. Last up is 'Zombie Dance' a moody Blues piece, that has shades of the 'Rolling Stones', especially with the harmonica work, a nice direction change that's impressively penned.
The bonus track titled 'Stand' has plenty of potential, but ultimately turns out disappointing, musically it's solid, but the Rap sections are a massive turn of for me and I would imagine most Hard Rock / Metal fans.
Plenty of variation, along with the usual fine penmanship, but like the previous album simply not enough memorable tracks.