Diamond Plate. Quite an evocative image from a relatively fledgling band, wouldn’t you say? According to my research, this isn’t a bejewelled platter, this is a gaggle of teenagers. And these teenagers aren’t fucking around; they want their debut to be taken seriously. Exhibit A: The album, cleverly titled “Generation Why?” (a play on the “Generation X” phrase) starts out with an intro ‘Entertainment Today’, something that is reserved for bands that, in my opinion, are trying to make an impression. To be fair to Diamond Plate, it probably works better in a live setting. For our intents and purposes, skip it, as it’s 90 seconds long and 50 of it is comprised of a spoofed radio News broadcasts. Go right for the title track, where you’ll notice some of the obvious characteristics possessed by our boys of Diamond Plate.
There is something undeniably solid here; these guys have their craft down, the riffs and drums undulate so that they blend together into a rolling pattern that is pleasant to the ears. The bass is almost completely inaudible (it’s thrash metal, it’s to be expected), but there is something missing. It needs to be heavier. It could be the vocals, which watery and a bit thin at times. Gang vocals would definitely have upped the ante on this record.
However, something told me to dig deeper, and lo and behold, like a fine wine that gets better with age, “Generation Why?” improved with every track. ‘Pull the Trigger’ started off with a decent squeal, ‘Fool’s Paradise’ and ‘Relativity’ weren’t bad songs either, if you overlook the fact that they sound exactly the same. ‘Waste of Life’ didn’t totally blow but some may find it to be a waste of time… Then I turned on track 8 and suddenly someone kicked this shit into gear. This album went from mediocre to kick ass as soon as ‘Casualty of War’ started. The vocals were a little stronger, and an EPIC (and I’m not using this word or the caps lock key lightly) solo kicks off at 2:09 and this barrage of slamming fucking shreddery lasts for a whole minute (that’s thrash, baby).
The rest of the album is also impressive. A variety of stops are pulled out. Obviously we know what sound these guys are going for but it is clear they aren’t afraid to try new things; they demonstrate an admirable use of the e-bow showcase a little bit of Spanish influenced riffing on ‘More than Words.’
I have to say, the first half of the album left a little something to be desired, as if someone baked a thrash cake yet no one put the frosting on. Once I got to the second half my mind was changed; Diamond Plate is a group of young, hungry, talented, bad asses, and I’m excited to see what they serve up next.