Review: Cricketbows – Diamonds


cricketbowls-diamondsCricketbows’ Diamonds is their first album to feature a full band and it feels better for it.

Multi-instrumentalist Chad Wells (The Jackalopes) has been delivering retro, melty, classic, psychedelics as Cricketbows since the self-produced, self-constructed HOME was released in 2010. By adding the full band and production work by Brian Olive (formerly of Soledad Brothers, Solo, and The Greenhornes), their fifth album Diamonds shines as one of the most cohesive Cricketbows albums to date.

As opener ‘Landing On The Moon’ begins, Wells & Co. extend their hand to lead you into the smoke cloud. But, as quickly as you’re lulled toward the music the rock and harmonies provided by Wells and Female co-Lead Vocalist, Flutist and Multi-Instrumentalist Aarika Watson make ‘Little Tiny Houses’ and trippy shake and ‘bake’.

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While psychedelia is a main focus, Diamonds also has no problem just rockin’ out. ‘Charcoal’ adds mood with a change up and ‘Kiss Alive’ delivers classic rock about classic rock — I fell a bit of an Outlaws vibe. But, cover ‘Porpoise Song’ (written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and performed by pop/rock quartet The Monkees) is easily an album highlight for me. Wells and Watson’s vocals tones call the faithful to their knees, and along with the instrumentation, you cannot help but throw your arms to the sky. Finally on the covers front, Wells & Co. provide a bold move with ending tune ‘Sympathy For The Devil.’ Cricketbows take their mysterious vibes only to send the record off with the big rock finish that it really deserves.

When I hear Cricketbows, I think a lot of things — the epic 70’s rock of Zeppelin, The Outlaws, Hawkwind, Fleetwood Mac, and others. I think of the ties to modern day with Black Mountain, Rose Windows, Buffalo Killers, and Blood Ceremony. Diamonds is an even-keel record that knows what it’s trying to do and mostly succeeds. I wouldn’t call it a revelation but it is sure a whole hell of a lot of fun. As an album that bears it heart and soul Diamonds shines through on many occasions.

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