If melodic, DC infused punk (NB: melodic NOT pop) is your thing then this will be right up your alley. Straight from the get go this is a head nodding, body moving slab of infectiously catchy tunes, jam packed with riffs aplenty and some seriously strong vocals from Golly. If it sounds slightly familiar then it’s because this is basically the remnants of seminal (yes I used the word seminal – get over yourself) UK HC band HDQ with former Shutdown/Thirty Six Strategies six string plucker Neil Cox joining the fold. Respectfully not trying to replace the much missed Dickie Hammond the band have opted for a new name and a fresh start.
In a weird way despite mining a seam first hewn in the mid-80s this is an incredibly current sounding set of tracks – The Hardest Goodbye wouldn’t sound amiss on many a 2000’s emo release – and I mean that in the most positive sense – possessing both the memorable yet intricate elements of that sound; it sounds ‘big’ without being over produced. That said – if I had to pick comparisons – the Revolution Summer bands would definitely come to mind particularly Shudder to Think, Rites of Spring and Grey Matter (both musically and the personal lyrical content); but it feels disingenuous to make such comparisons when a band is this good.
Ending with two of their strongest songs – the brilliant I See No Justification and the even better (not to mention exceptionally relevant) This Hating Nation, Diaz Brothers is a serious contender for my album of the year – this is an absolutely essential release. Special mention for the artwork which also manages to evoke the mid-80’s DC releases without being derivative. I can’t wait to check Diaz Brothers out live. Ian Pickens