Diamond Youth - Orange [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Diamond Youth

Orange [12-inch] (2013)


Diamond Youth are something of a supergroup, featuring members of Terror and Trapped Under Ice, but you'd never know it from listening to their music. The group plays the kind of melodic rock that can be lazily oversimplified as "'90s revival." Orange, their second EP and first since adding "Youth" to their moniker finds the group going a little heavier and darker than on their prior work (Less Blue Album, more Pinkerton) to a great effect.

"Cannonball" is a great opening track, as it tells you everything you need to know about the band; Fuzzed-out guitars and clear melodic vocals, mid-tempo yet still high energy, with a clear debt to '90s emo (of the Sunny Day Real Estate brand more than the Cap'n Jazz variety.) The chorus recalls what Muse were doing before they decided they wanted to be U2, but in the best way possible. It's the most immediately catchy song on Orange, and arguably the strongest. Most of the other tracks follow its template.

"Swinging From You" is the song that most deviates from this formula, with a lighter vibe than the other tracks. There is not a bad song to be found on Orange, but most of them are very similar, at least structurally speaking. "Swinging From You" does break things up a bit, and keeps the formula from growing stale. Brian McTernan, who's likely produced at least one of your favorite bands, gives Orange a huge modern feel that nicely contrasts with its more '90s-oriented songwriting (the title track's intro feels like it could have been lifted directly from Nevermind.)

Diamond Youth don't hide their influences, but they use them to craft something new rather than simply coming across as a nostalgia act, as several bands have been lately. Either Title Fight's Floral Green is either already influencing bands, or a whole bunch of kids started listening to Dear You and You'd Prefer an Astronaut at roughly the same time. Luckily, Diamond Youth don't fall into that trap, and are one of the best bands currently playing this style of music. If they keep growing, their full-length debut should be fantastic.