Review: The debut LP from Dianas
Rhosian Woolridge checks the debut longplayer from Perth-based Dianas:
Don’t get me wrong, I love nostalgia as much as the next person. I truly believe ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child is one of the greatest break up songs to ever exist. I’ll always dance when TLC comes on at a party, and I proudly sported an Atomic Kitten song as my ringtone when I got my first flip phone. But guys, c’mon. Aren’t we just a little glad that 90s kitsch girl groups are a thing of the past?
Let’s go to 2010. We’ve swiftly bi-passed the ‘Noughties’ (because again, what were we thinking?) and a new era of girl groups like Best Coast and Vivian Girls have begun to shake off some of that cheeto dust. Five years on again, we’ve got gals like St. Vincent, War Paint, and Dum Dum Girls, and they’re cooler and badder than ever. Now, I’m not saying you can’t love All Saints and post-90s girl sound all the same. They are by no means mutually exclusive. Heck, they’re not even similar. Maybe its present-minded bias, but I’m just happy with the way things have turned out.
Meet Dianas; a couple of badass chicks that are Perth’s answer to that aforementioned DIY girl sound. Dianas have just released their debut self titled LP — it’s part surf-rock and part disaffected indie, but still has a pop sentimentality (think: Haim, not the Spice Girls) that gets you hooked. I love Dianas and I love the era of girl groups from which they come.
Opening track ‘Of A Time’ is a winner. Starting with a stunning and straight-forward guitar riff, it leaps straight into a jangle reminiscent of The Drums, that plays feature to sparse lyrics ‘I used to carve your name into trees’. Equally strong second track ‘Mars One’ is another bobble-head number where vocals come second to a strong, unabating riff; it’s more about feeling and sound than words.
As with a few of the songs on the album, ‘Good Enough Girl’ adheres to romanticism, but its not especially dramatic, which is wear Dianas talent lies. There’s an air of angst and of disaffection in their music, but it never comes off as too cool. It’s nostalgic and empowered and well thought out. ‘Good Enough Girl’ is undoubtedly the LP’s standout single, the harrowing chorus ‘you gotta be lonely sometimes girl’ inviting you in to Dianas’ Paisley Underground world. Just after half-way the album takes an unexpected left-turn and makes a good case for the bands range, with songs like ‘I’m With You’ and ‘Braver’ trading jangle for a slower sound. This rings true for ‘Freakcreep’, which is the most affecting track to feature on the LP, followed by closing song ‘One Day’ – it puts everything in slow motion before bringing things to a pronounced end.
A strong debut for the homegrown riff-rockers. Dianas LP is full of liquid jangles, moody ballads, and stirring harmonies. Long live Dianas and the sonic legacy that is DIY love-punk.
Dianas debut LP is out now and you can listen to it here, free of charge!
Words by Rhosian Woolridge.