The Black Diamonds' two-song debut demo was so solid that it seemed to set up the Perry quintet for inevitable disappointment -- plenty of bands can muster a flash of inspiration. Considering that the bandmates were high school seniors until about 20 minutes ago, was there any way they could keep up that kind of momentum for an entire album? The answer is a resounding hell yeah!
Guitarist-producer Francis Dylan is simply a riff-and-solo machine. The band touches up "Cold Cold Heart" -- a nominee for the Scene Music Awards' song of the year -- slathering the escalating guitar run in feedback. In the seven-minute "Sugar Show," singer Chad VanGils musters a cock-rock swagger that'll make women twice his age swoon. After the hopped-up blues shuffle and southern-fried boogie of "I Got a Feeling," the disc closes with your recommended weekly allowance of cowbell in "Song for Mia" and "Make Me Die."