Making Cash For Heartless Crooks – Diamonds and Guns
Making Cash For Heartless Crooks is the debut EP from the Swedish punkrockers Diamonds and Guns. I’m always happy to hear new punkrock in English coming out from Swedish bands, it seems like it’s not as common nowadays as it was during the late 90’s-early 00’s.
The single So Long, Chicago is also the opening track (not counting the intro) on the EP. It sounds a bit like Hot Water Music mixed with a little Irish-inspired punkrock. I really like the mix of the laid back verse going into the HWM-esque chorus. Nevertheless continues in the same style, and it’s nice to hear that the band doesn’t feel the need to put the pedal to the metal, but instead letting the songs breath in more mid-tempo. I get a little Rancid mixed with Madcap (if anyone remembers them) feeling. September also has that So-Cal laid back punk vibe in the sound.
Lyrically it’s really solid as well, not political but rather more towards rock-themes. A story of a Chicago girl having to leave her hometown because of an alcoholic father, reminiscing about meeting that girl during ones teenage years and drunk nights in California. Although the band themselves says that this is a bit happier in the tone than previous releases, it feels like there’s a melancholic theme in those first three songs, and I really like it. The songs definitively got a bit of an nostalgic shimmer as well. It’s all really pleasant to listen to, much thanks to the frontmans voice that has the perfect amount of growl without any sharp edges, also adding to the melancholy and almost a bit of longing. On top of that the rest of the band does a good job of adding the background vocals to fill up the choruses nicely.
In the closer the band leans even more toward rock rather than punk, adding a discreet piano to the sound. It also goes away from the overall theme bit, adding a bit more optimistic vibe, and perhaps that’s why it feels a bit off for me. It’s not my favourite track on the EP and it goes a bit long in my opinion.
I was about to write that Diamonds and Guns is a breath of fresh air on the scene with Making Cash For Heartless Crooks, bit that isn’t completely true as they’re not inventing the wheel here. But I haven’t heard this sound from a Swedish band in a long time, and it’s a welcome contribution. It’s a nice listen most of the way through and it got that perfect end of summer/beginning of autumn-soundtrack feeling. If they were to make an full-length album I would like to see some variations in tempo and style, but for an EP that’s not much of an issue. I’m gonna be looking out for future stuff from these guys.