The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

DEAR DIARY

DEAR DIARY

Eonian Records

REKEASED 2010

 

 

Eonian continues its great job in 2010; bringing in another batch of quality releases from back in the glory days of late eighties/early nineties rock. If you are fan of that genre as we are here at The Rockpit then you should go and check out their site now at http://www.eonianrecords.com.

 

Dear Diary is another quality release and another band we can only vaguely remember hearing back in the day; and they are a little different. Their self-confessed influences come from a wider range of groups than usual: ‘everything from Rush and Styx to Def Leppard and Diving for Pearls’. You can hear glimpses of that diversity in the music at times too.

 

Coming a little late to gain too much attention at the time the band managed to record a couple of demos and pick up some nice support slots before disbanding in the mid 1990’s.

 

The album itself comprises the tracks from the demos and in truth the production is pretty clear if a little sterile.  Opener ‘I Want to Know’ is a solid enough opener, but not the best here. There’s some nice soaring ‘feel good’ rock on here with ‘Momma Said’ in particular giving off that good-time Summery vibe. ‘One Step Closer’ too is one of those songs that is  good but not a ‘great’, it does however make you wonder what the band could have done with the spark of ideas like that.

 

If I have one criticism of the tracks here it is with the mid-paced selections that seem to lose their way a little. If anything it’s the heavier sound they have that detracts from some of those songs, where a more clichéd Sunset Strip overlay might have elevated some of them. You can sense a band really trying to do something different but not quite sure exactly what.  Don’t get me wrong songs like ‘Slow Down’, ‘Dream In Color’ and ‘One Step Closer’ are nice enough songs but would greatly benefit from a little more life! ‘Tanqueray Tina’ however is a mid-paced number that does work and work well especially as it kicks into the solo.

 

I don’t want the review to sound too critical though, as this is a rewarding album especially if you are looking for something a little more than the run-of-the-mill Sunset Strip glam metal. Songs like ‘Red Rose Burn’; Dream in Color’ and ‘Shiny Like Bubbled Glass’ provide a different take on the prevalent sound at the time and it’s a look through darker skies. On one level you could look at Dear Diary as a band at the edge of innovation who didn’t quite hit their mark, but I’m not completely convinced that the weight of the mid-paced songs here allows them to achieve anything more than a nice album well –played by competent musicians. 

 

Listening to songs like ‘She Danced for Me’ with its cool melodic sound; ‘Momma Said’ which demonstrates how to write a cool eighties rocker, and closer ‘Plain to See’ (in my opinion the best here) you know that if they had stuck it out they just may have made it. On the basis of those three songs alone it’s hard not to recommend a delve into the Diary…

 

 

Mark