Diamond Nights are all too familiar with confectionizing hard rock, having earlier this year released an excellent debut EP, Once We Were Diamonds, that sprinkles sweetener on galloping twin-lead guitars, lyrics like "never thought that a popsicle chick could taste so good," and delivering deep, libidinous sighs. The band conjures fond memories of Thin Lizzy, Billy Idol, and Cheap Trick without wallowing in nostalgia, seamlessly traversing decades as easily as frontman Morgan Phalen travels a female-friendly landscape (in the occasional rock falsetto).
"We set out to make sugary songs," the singer explains. "Have you seen that Judas Priest record Turbo? These fingernails [wrap] around a dripping ice cream cone and it's kind of psychedelic looking. I always liked the juxtaposition of an image like that with hard, heavier music."
But Diamond Nights aren't aiming for lite-metal irony. They're interested in "putting all of our musical inklings into a sing-along-able format. And those things range from heavy metal to '70s rock to '80s pop music," says Phalen of drummer Tim Traynor, co-guitarist Rob Laakso, and bassist S. D. Rumsey.
On their EP and this fall's fantastic upcoming Popsicle full-length, much of that synthesis centers on fusing Diamond Dave lyrics to Phil Lynott melodies, a marriage that comes naturally in the New York band's songs.
Diamond Nights are a dynamic package that treats every song as a precious endeavor, placing a high price on those incredible pop hooks, wherever in the rock spectrum they may land. "We just have bad ADD," Phalen jokes, "and we always have to change it up and reintroduce ourselves. That's how we originally called ourselves Diamonds--every song is treated like the best and final song we're going to write."