They are called Low vs. Diamond and on their self-titled debut album, I think “diamond” wins out because this is a gem of a record. Not to get all cliché on you, but it’s the truth.
You know it’s good right from the start when drummer Howie Diamond steadily carries you into the sad story told in the first track, “Don’t Forget Sister.” This deeply emotional song gives a good taste of what is to come for the rest of the album: big moments reminiscent of U2, gorgeous instrumentals and a lyrical depth that most albums strive for but few achieve. Singer Lucas Field cleverly twists the lyrics in this opener, leaving the listener to ponder who really needed help and who was offering it.
The biggest shame of this album is that “Don’t Forget Sister” is such a strong track that the following tracks, although fine, aren’t quite able to live up to the quality of the first track, thus making “Killer B” and “Cinema Tonight” come off as a little cheesy instead of clever. There just is no way that a line like, “In my demise you sting my eyes, Killer B” can stand up to a line like, “Getting asked a lot of questions, but my answers are all wrong” from “Don’t Forget Sister.”
Without a doubt, Low vs. Diamond are at their strongest when they are singing about relationships with family or having to say goodbye. Any shortcomings of the previous tracks are quickly forgotten by the time keyboardist Tad Moore‘s soft piano hails the start of another tale about family problems in “Actions Are Actions.” This song weaves an interesting pattern and starts with just piano and vocals before instrumentally building up into the dizzying pain caused by all the wrong actions described in the lyrics. The song then fades back to just the piano and vocals with Field crooning, “You’re hurting us all; you just don’t know the cost.”
As the album continues, the individual story lines get more cynical and bleak and as that happens, the songs continue to get more interesting. “Heart Attack” criticizes, “We pretend and we try and act surprised as we watch the world end.”
The band does a good job of leaving a lot of interpretation up to the listener. I had to listen to the final track, “I’ll Be,” multiple times and I still can’t decide if I find it optimistic or cynical. So take a listen to this album yourself and decide what you think. Instrumentally it is very accessible to listen to and there is enough going on lyrically that this has the potential to blow your mind if you let it.
Low vs. Diamond’s debut self-titled album was physically released by Epic Records on July 22, 2008.
01. Don’t Forget Sister
02. Killer B
03. This Is Your Life
04. Cinema Tonight
05. Actions Are Actions
06. Heart Attack
07. Song We Sang Away
09. Save Yourself
11. I’ll Be
Written by: Bethany