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Diamond Nights

They were originally called the Diamonds but there had been a doo-wop group back in the '50s with the same name. Don't want to get sued. So they became Diamond Nights. According to vocalist/guitarist Morgan Phalen "diamonds are cool, night time is cool, so there you go."

But Diamond Nights sounds like the name of some third rate covers band playing a casino near you. Or worse, a Neil Diamond tribute act. Turns out, neither is the case - exactly. Diamond Nights may not do covers but they are retro enough to qualify as a tribute act.

Most people remember the late '70s/early '80s as a "fun" time. Sure, pictures from that self-indulgent era have either been tossed, burned or buried, but that has more to do with the clothes and hair styles than bad memories - though there were plenty of those too. Seems you can have too much fun. It was a wild trip with just enough gloss to get over the rough spots.

Young parents, still thinking they were hip, bought the latest releases. So their kids toddled around the house while the stereo pumped out Cheap Trick, the Cars and Def Leppard. It had to make an impression on kids from Long Island to Sausalito.

In '01, two Queens, NY, residents Phalen and Tim Traymore (vocals/drums) began working together. Early the next year, the addition of S.D. Rumsey (vocals/bass) and Rob "Doc" Laakso (guitar/synthesizer), fresh from a PhD program (hence the nickname), led to Diamond Nights.

Signed by Kemado Records, Diamond Nights' debut album "Popsicle"dropped in '05. It featured the weekend loving single "Saturday Fantastic."

Diamond Nights Discography


2004 So Fantastic (Limited Vinyl EP)
2005 Once We Were Diamonds (EP)
2005 Popsicle

Diamond Nights' "Popsicle" is 1978 all over again. The synth beds, muted guitars and sharp, driving beats are all there. Opening track "Destination Diamond" confidently captures the era. "The Girl's Attractive" is so pure Cars that Ric Ocasek (Cars' frontman) could have done the song on "Candy O." Another hot track is "Snakey Ruth" which has a T. Rex feeling. The riff-driven, AC/DC influenced wailer, "Saturday Fantastic" rides an irresistible groove.

Diamond Nights can make for fun listening, if only trying to identify a song's inspiration. Since the Cars no longer exist; Cheap Trick and Def Leppard are barely hanging on, there's probably a place for Diamond Nights. Gotta have fun.

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