Before I start this review, don't you think that "Diamond Eyes" sounds like something those freaky alien women from L'Oreal want to sell you? I do.
Right, a new album from my favourite band, we'll do this track by track I think.
Diamond Eyes - A killer opening. A real jarring sludgy riff from Stef marries beautifully with Chino's swirly seductive vocals here, heading into a great chorus with it's " time will see us realise, diamonds reign across the sky” and finishing with a groove-tastic 45 second hammer blow. Wow. Follow that.
Royal - And follow that they do, the transition between this and the opener is barely noticeable, and this sounds like a fusion between the ambient portions of White Pony and the fury of Around the Fur-this song is like falling off a mountain-fun, but you realise something solid is on it's way to meet you.
CMND/CNTRL - Hey, it's 1998 again! It sounds like someone upset Chino before they recorded this one, he's really barking out the words here, this will be brilliant live, sort of like a new 7 words
You’ve Seen The Butcher - And we finally hit kind of what I was expecting, the first full on Ambient peice on the album......sort of. Stef lurks in the background playing Stoner rock riffs Josh Homme would have been proud of in his Kyuss days, and Chino is just making a beautiful sound-at this point it doesn't matter what he's singing, his voice is an instrument. This is my favourite so far.
Beauty School - A great bass line with Chino crooning over the top. A magnificent, swirly floaty thing. This is exactly the reason I love this band so much.
Prince - All hi-hats and rumbly bass before a great chorus interrupts proceedings, this is a bit like Digital Bath from White Pony, but only a a bit. Actually, maybe it's more like Digital Bath meets Change -until that is about halfway through, when all hell breaks loose.
Rocket Skates - The first single, I actully think this is one of the weaker tracks on the album - this is all relative mind you, on 99% of other albums, this would be the standout - but that “Guns! Razors! Knives!” refrain certainly makes you pay attention in a hurry.
Sex Tape - "Floating underwater" are the opening words to this track, and it's a perfect description. This is the best track on the album by far, and up there with the best they've ever written.
Risk - Nice riff, not much else - the weakest track on the disc by far.
976-Evil. - Gently progressive and with some heart wrenching undertones, this is a really subtle builder of a track. Stunning.
This Place Is Death - Is this a reflection on what could have been? Maybe, but it's perfect to end with-the calm after the storm, so to speak.
So, what to say? This is stunning, really. I honestly thought no-one had a chance of topping "Plastic Beach" from my much coveted Album of the Year slot, but this has done it, and it's done it easily. I should never have doubted them. Go and buy it. Yes, buy it-download it if you want to listen first, but then buy it anyway, I'm going to.
One final thing "Is it better than White Pony?" Not yet, but after a few more listens it's going to be very close.......