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Diamond Rings - Special Affections


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The term predictability can never be tagged along side the name Diamond Rings. Diamond Rings is the solo project of Canadian indie rockers The D’Ubervilles’ John O’Regan. First of all their is his androgynous image, which is in full display in the video for the track “All Yr Songs”, a video that was controversially pulled down off of youtube by Song BMG. Known for glamourous costumes and live stages, it was a surprise to hear such a smooth baritone voice to go along with the electro-pop sounds. The vocals are a real drawing point on this album, ranging anywhere from a post-punk sound to a more modern Brandon Floweresque sound. This mix or past and present vocals keeps things fresh over the course of the ten tracks that comprise the album.


John O doesn’t rely on one particular instrument or sound to propel the album. While guitars are present on the album, they never really take a front seat. Instead simple drum loops and atmospheric synths fill out the background as his vocals take the front seat. For example opening track Play By Heart consists of nothing but simple piano notes surrounded by dreamy atmospheric synths and percussion. Distorted fuzzy guitars finally kick in on the track “Wait & See” but take a back seat to the drum machine sounding beat throughout the track. The single “Something Else” does start off with some heavier guitar riffs, but once again it is the drum loops and vocals that shine through on the track.


While the heavy use of atmospheric synths and very mechanical sounding drum loops can create a cold and impersonal feel, the lyrics of John O are a stark contrast to that feeling, instead being incredibly emotional and personal. Themes of love and of recognition of faults are all present on this album. Overall the album is something that is easily accessible with it’s catchy beats and vocals, but it also has substance to it. It isn’t just the same sound repeated on every track, but rather a dynamic adventure in sound and image.


Stream the album here: If you like it, buy it!


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