Diamond Nights are like The Darkness, without the piercing falsetto, Freddie Mercury unitards and campy excess. The Brooklyn four piece brought the rock to Cafe Du Nord on Sunday night to a full crowd of hipsters, leaving us to marvel at how San Franciscans are so consistently in-the-know about new music. NYC-based indie Kemado Records is the home to Diamond Nights' EP Once We Were Diamonds and forthcoming full length record, due out in August. Listen to an mp3 of "Destination Diamonds" here.
The set started with some technical difficulties, paralyzing singer Morgan Phalen into a singing-while-tuning-his-guitar stance, but once they worked out the kinks it was clear how tight they were as a band. The 'Nights don't indulge in the usual hard rock posturing (finger-pointing, high kicks) but their frontman at least looked the part, with his lanky frame and shoulder-length shag. Their sound conjures nostalgia for Thin Lizzy and even Judas Priest, leaning more toward good old-fashioned rock than metal. The heavy guitars veer from chugging Mr. Brownstone-esque licks to harmonizing leads. Phalen's voice is mostly working class rasp, reminiscent of Lizzy-leader Phil Lynott, with a few falsettos thrown in tastefully during choruses and hooks. These guys know that chops aren't just a way to wear your facial hair; they flexed their skills with a couple of proggy instrumental breakdowns complete with Journey-sounding keyboards and interlocking melodies.
Don't fret if you missed the big rock show -- "The Boys Are Back In Town" again at Cafe Du Nord on July 13th.
Image from the Diamond Nights website.