By Margaret Banka
Diamond Mind’s release Heavy Metal Sunshine is evidence that Alberta can produce more than just oil, whiskey, and Angus beef (did you know that if you mix them all together you get Chad Kroeger?). Listening to the Edmonton-based group’s pop album is like walking through a funhouse at the carnival – not the type where Chad is hiding around the corner waiting to jump at you, but more like the one where you walk through a whirling tunnel, cross an oscillating floor, and then pass a row of your distorted reflections. Fun, not scary!
While most tracks are upbeat and catchy, this debut full-length album will delight pop enthusiasts of all tastes by representing an eclectic range of tunes. This is apparent even between the first two tracks: where the opener “Diamond Mind,” is loud and uplifting, “Horseless Coach” is toned down and far more synthy. The journey feels like it’s headed toward some pretty jaunty Sloan-esque alternative stuff with “The Janks”, only to take a more melancholy turn with the keyboard-heavy “Front Page of the End Times.”
Far from feeling unglued by its diversity, the album as a whole is united by Liam Trimble’s light and sunny voice that adds an element of levity to each song. It is perhaps best appreciated in the more pensive and dreamy pop tunes, such as “Blind Hills Chapel” and “Webster’s;” the contrast between melody and vocals here is most enchanting and this is definitely where the thrill of the album peaks. The lyrics are intimate yet simple, balancing those high energy tracks early on.
As its title suggests, Heavy Metal Sunshine boasts an array of pop jams that are all distinctive from one another but surprisingly work well together in an album and keep you guessing. Think Chad Kroeger clad in pink tutu (just kidding, think of something better, please).