Diamond Youth – “Nothing Matters” Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Click here to stream the record while you read!

Click here to stream the record while you read!

There’s nothing extremely special about Diamond Youth’s debut album, but the blending of genres here really attracts a specific crowd, including me. Nothing Matters is an alternative shoegaze power pop punk record. It’s is no AOTY contender, and it’s likely not even the best release they have, but Diamond Youth here provide a sound very different from most bands I listen to, so this album is like a refreshing breeze to my palette of music. 

There is a lot more going on in the production of Nothing Matters that was not as evident on their prior EPs. The vocals have been transformed into a very spacious with a bit of a tremble in Justin Gilman’s approach. Immediately when I heard the way the vocals were mixed I thought of Woods, an alt-folk group that has a very trippy and similar airy presence in their vocal melodies. ‘Spinning’ is one track exemplifying this vocal mix, soaring above all the guitars, slipping in and out of harmonies with ease.

Diamond Youth  try to unleash a new blended wave of genres and influences on this record, and it sometimes can hinder the overall output; stretching too far and not necessarily landing on both feet.

There are still brutal punk anthems that were cherished on their EPs, led by ‘Far Way From Earth’ which explodes after the rather soft opening.  ‘No Control’ is a monotonous but fulfilling track, showcasing the extreme dynamics the band can create. The buildup at the end is gritty and worthy of fist bumps from the most hardcore of kids. ‘In The Clouds’ reaches for that Queens Of The Stone Age swagger but with a little of Diamond Youth’s unique flavor injected.

What might be where it can make or break this album for people is the amount of influences Diamond Youth strive to include. It isn’t easy to break into the alternative arena rock conversation. Sounding at all like any of the existing big rock acts is viewed as unoriginal. What Diamond Youth does is combine a mix of the sounds of the biggest rock bands forming tracks like ‘Thought I Had It Right’ which is a fuzzy acid induced track that grows and grows until the end. ‘The Nothing’ is a dark and ominous track being lead by a vicious groove from the bass that by itself could probably be featured at dance clubs.

Nothing Matters is an album that does not want to falter. It spits, kicks and carries a lot of great potential. The amount of variety this album posses is wonderful because there is an ability to differentiate the tracks from each other. The vocals can be extremely off putting for some, but my extreme love for the spacey atmosphere has me welcoming this approach. What Diamond Youth really does well is blend all of this music together with great taste. They don’t reinvent the wheel, but instead spin it with their own fuzzy power.