Monday, March 18, 2013

Bloody Diamonds - 'They've Got Secrets' CD and 'Monsters' 7" review!

It’s such a welcome change having all of these East Coast bands once again releasing these classic sounding heavy rock albums; and many with talented female singers. First, we had Tonella who I reviewed a few weeks back, and just recently I was introduced to a great band from Halifax called Bloody Diamonds.
Bloody Diamonds were formerly known as Eliza & the Strange and had one album under their belt with this name. They didn’t feel the name fit as they wanted to be known as a band rather than singer with backing band, so they decided to change their name to Bloody Diamonds and re-released their debut album under this new name with new artwork. They called the re-released album They’ve Got Secrets. I just picked up a copy of this album as well as their new 7” single Monsters. This post will be reviewing both.

The original lineup consisted of Sara Elizabeth on vocals and organ backed by Alex Macaskill on guitar, Jake Seaward on bass and Kenny Myers on drums. Somewhere between their original release and their brand new 7” single, Alex was replaced by Ian Bennet who had played guitar on the track They’ve Got Secrets on their initial release. Since this lineup change Ian also left the band along with Kenny. So when all the dust settles we are left with Sara and Jake.

Some bands have guitar as their strongest instruments, some drums. Bloody Diamonds takes a different approach with (believe it or not) the bass as its driving force. Even stranger than that… It works! This slightly distorted lead bass sound by Jake combined with Sara’s vocals give them a sound that can only be called their own. I've never heard anyone else sing like Sara, being able to hit all the challenging notes and still being able to scream like an 80’s hair metal star when she feels fit.

The album opens up with a heavy distorted bass riff beginning “Lady of the Night” followed by simple drums, a snazzy guitar riff and some sexy distorted vocals. Think The Black Keys meet ‘pre Tragic Kingdom’ No Doubt (did anybody else have that album or was it just me?)

The next song that jumped out at me was Twisted. There's loads of guitar throughout the album, but not that many actual solos. That seems to have been a conscious choice, because here Macaskill lets one rip that shows he has the talent and ability.

Another notable mention is the track Disease. Sara singing her verses with just the simple drum beat backing her and hitting the chorus backed by the full band gives it a great classic rock sound but just a little heavier.

Now let’s not forget their new single Monsters. It shows their songwriting is improving with time . Sara’s vocals really shine in this single, not being masked with many effects and really letting her voice speak for itself. I have to admit it’s a shame that they lost two of their members as they really sound tight on this new single. Regardless, I have full faith that Bloody Diamonds will prevail with whoever they choose to fill the voids in the band. I posted their new video for Monsters below. That’s right; they even have a great video (actually they have a few and you can find them at

Their music is being released on the small indie label Strange Blood Records that just so happens to be owned by the new fabulous duo of Sara Elizabeth and Jake Seaward. This is a totally separate business than Bloody Diamonds. This label deserves credit on its own; having a handful of solid releases, a great website and as far as I’m concerned a great reputation. I’m anxious to see where this label leads. Hopefully I can follow up with an interview regarding the label in a future post.
The CD is lacking a bit on packaging having just a one page cover and no insert, but this is a new band releasing debut material on a small label. They seemed to put their money where it mattered, into the sound and this album sounds great. Let it be known that regardless of there being only minimal packaging on this album, what was included looks great.

Now sure the CD may have been lacking inserts but boy did they make up packaging with their new 7” single. Thick heavy vinyl wrapped in a standard white sleeve housed in a heavy glossy cardboard picture sleeve. All this set in a 3 mil poly sleeve that’s practically a necessity for most collectors before any of their prized vinyl lands on the shelf (it is in mine). They didn't even cheated on the download card, having it look like a rock and roll credit card. This is a fine package that will be a great addition to anyone's collection.

I am anxious to see what Sara and Jake have up their sleeve next. Currently being the only two members of Bloody Diamonds, they are getting ready to tour as a bluesy duo across the Eastern Provinces and in the meantime find replacements to top up their lineup. Part of me is more interested to hear them as a duo. It will definitely be interesting. I’ll have to wait until they pass through Fredericton April 15th to see it for myself. Be sure to check them out on this spring tour, they have 29 dates lined up starting in Montreal March 29th and ending in Halifax May 1st.

You can pick up their album or new single at their website





1 comment:

  1. I can tell you myself from having seen Jake and Sara perform that it is worth every bit of the cover charge! I definitely recommend you check them out on their tour.


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