Review of Second Move Album by The Diamond Sea

Second Move is the debut album from Leeds based trio The Diamond Sea. The groups name is taken from a Sonic Youth track of the same name, but there is where any similarities end. Although an air of nostalgia is woven inextricably within the fabric of Second Move it is more of a sensibility than a specific reference point. 'Dream Pop' is where they may see the sound of the band so as to affiliate themselves with a genre but after hearing the debut you certainly wouldn't be inclined to put them with the likes of The Cocteaus, Sigur Ros, Felt or even School Of Seven Bells.

The Indie Pop threesome were only formed back in 2009 which may explain away some of the short comings on the album. The 9 tracks, whilst all pleasant enough, never engage particularly, hardly ever capture your imagination in the way only music can and just tend to pass you by. The opener 'Stealing' is easy on the ear, has some inoffensive harmonies set to jangly guitar chords and soft vocalisation. It is let down by the apathy in the production and the wanting lyrics.............."We'll fly away to Spain and steal a Jaguar, Sit on a beach drink Champagne and eat caviar."

The Diamond Sea Second Move Album

Barely a guitar is strummed in anger until track #6, 'Brand New' which is a shame really as the second part of the album is much improved for the show of some emotional vigour. Live The Diamond Sea are also said to be a different animal to the one which as been captured so ineffectively here, which begs the question, why? Surely if you like what you've heard live you'll be expecting a representation of that on the CD, similarly if you happen to like the CD, you'd expect it to be reproduced in a similar form in the live all parties lose!

Second Move is an adequate first attempt. It may have been put together a tad hastily, may not show all the signs of a finely crafted debut years in the making and does suffer from being rather one dimensional. However, where The Diamond Sea have triumphed is when they have brought the key elements of songmanship together. When Bens voice shines, when the lyrics work and when the instrumentation compliments the arrangement to provide a good tune Second Move at least shows the bands promise and potential. The sad lament of the heartfelt and love struck 'The First One', the moody, claustrophobic and slightly resentful 'Brand New' as well as the disappointment of failed relationships in 'Son' give The Diamond Sea a platform from which greater things may be built upon.

Andrew Lockwood.