For those of you who don’t know The Diamond Dogs were founded in the late 90’s by vocalist Sulo Karlsson and guitarist Anders Lindström who under the nom de plume of Bobba Fett plays keyboards with The Hellacopters, which through reverse engineering, is how I discovered them. Musically the band is neck deep into the likes of The Faces, The Stones and The Pretty Things with a soulful garage edge and have over these Covid months been re-issuing their back catalogue. The latest is “Atlantic Juice” that collates the songs from the 2003 Jeff Dahl “Atlantic Crossover” split album and a selection from “That’s The Juice I’m On” that I think in turn was a compilation album itself.  

 

Kicking the album off is “From Now On” that tells us We’ll Be Strong and if anything is going to raise your spirits this is the perfect way to get things going in the right direction. “Scunthorpe Avenue” I’m sure wants to be “Gimme Shelter” as played by Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, with “Drink To Ya” the best song the Robinson Brothers never wrote and “You Captured My Smile” is the Diamond Dogs very own “She Talks To Angels”.  “Get The Monkey Off” features some great electric Piano straight from the School of Billy Preston courtesy of The Duke of Honk, who along with Sulo in 2020 is the only original member  

 

Even though the songs were recorded at different sessions “Atlantic Juice” comes across as a well rounded flowing record that could’ve been recorded in the 1970’s down in some Chateau in the South of France. The thing that stood out for me, especially on “Hurt You Twice As Much”, is how much these songs need to be played and heard live. In the meantime I guess we’ll just have to do with the very much appreciated vinyl and CD 

Buy ‘Atlantic Juice’ Here

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 Author: Armitage Smith

 

I think we’re up to reissue number sixty nine or something like that but I couldn’t care a less. When it’s the Diamond Dogs it’s all about the song and the Double D’s have ’em in spades.

Record label Wild Kingdom is re-releasing Diamond Dogs’ first 5 classic Long-Players (1993 – 2003). and including the singles and EPs from the same period.

Diamond Dogs were formed in 1991 in Katrineholm, Södermanland. From the very beginning hugely influenced by British Early 1970s R&B rock like Rod Stewart and The Faces, Frankie Miller, Dr. Feelgood, etc. and they are most unapologetic about that and so they shouldn’t be too.  When a band rocks up with an opener like ‘Charity Song’ and along with that huge swing, they have more horns than you can shake a big stick at, and before you know it whatever shitty day you were having will be transformed.

By the time the band made it to ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’  they’d changed personnel a bazillion times except for the lifers and integral members the Diamond Dogs built a formidable reputation for their live shows, with the charismatic singer Sulo, as well as The Duke of Honk and his organ (ooh er Mrs) The sound and style of gritty rock’n’roll was cast in stone. Sören ‘Sulo’ Karlsson also being the main songwriter, and Henrik ‘The Duke of Honk’ Widen serving as the group’s principal producer. as long as the quality of songs was being written the sound was going to be died in the fabric of the bands DNA. Former Oddball Stevie Klasson has the deft touch of a Keith Richards or a Ronnie Wood and could crash out a chord when he needed to like his old boss Mr. Thunders. Such is his quality and the fact the guy oozes it every time he picks up a guitar he was exactly what the Diamond Dogs stood for and then some and he really came into his own on this record.

This their third proper album ‘Too Much Is Always Better.. ..Than Not Enough’ showed they weren’t done yet, the album was released in 2002 (almost twenty years!),it opened some cool doors enabling the band to tour with the likes of The Cult, Nazareth, Ian Hunter, Hanoi Rocks, The Damned, The Quireboys, Dan Baird/Georgia Satellites, Sensational Alex Harvey Band to name a few.

‘Bound To Ravage’ was released as a single and its slide guitar-driven upbeat rocker was classic boogie-woogie. but the band weren’t just about the good times as they mixed it up with the slower more reflective rockers ‘Sad To Say I’m Sorry’ and the epic balladeering of ‘Somebody Else’s Lord’ with the swirling organ is a match for the Rod the Mod classic ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’ or the Stones ‘Get Your Ya Yas Out’ version of ‘Love In Vain’ and I kid you not when I say that. Then to follow it up with the wonderful ‘This Ones For My Lady’ shows that The Diamond Dogs had many strings to their bow and were experts when dealing with the precious tunes that were bestowed upon them. They step back into the beginnings of Rock and Roll with the 50s inspired swing of ‘Desperate Poetry’. Strangely this album is preserved with the same twelve tunes that made up the original release but somehow after all this time the wonderful tones of Stevie Klasson have somehow elevated it for me and his playing gives it the edge on the previous releases.  It might not have the bands best songs on it but as a complete album it’s exceptional.

Now had the Black Crowes continued on the trajectory of the first two and a bit albums I would hold them in the same esteem but alas they went all beardy Casey jones on us and fucked it up.  It always puzzled me how the Robinson brothers could fill large arenas and got people wetting their panties at the prospect of their reunion to play the money maker album but the real tunesmiths are here hiding in plain sight.  Ripping the shit out of rock and Roll and cooming up with top-notch album after top-notch album yet playing in local pubs.  Sometimes life does indeed give you lemons but if my words help one soul turn the way of The Diamond Dogs then I’d be happy and if you remember the band who dished this treat of an album up almost twenty years ago and want the chance to hear it on vinyl – well this is your chance because Too Much Diamond Dogs is never enough just buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Following the recent reissues of ‘Honked All Over Again’ and ‘As Your Greens Turn Brown’, Wild Kingdom continue their Diamond Dogs ‘First 10 Years’ reissues with release number three. ‘Weekend Monster‘ brings together their two classic, long out of print EPs ‘Among The Non Believers’ and ‘Shortplayer’ on one sexy slab of coloured vinyl, with a new running order and cool as you like new artwork.

 

Laid down in a session just before the recording of ‘As Your Greens Turn Brown’ in 2000, ‘Among The Non Believers’ was meant as a taster for the upcoming second album from Sweden’s best kept rock ‘n’ roll secret. Again in 2001 ‘Shortplayer’ was a snapshot of what to expect on their third (and finest) album ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’.

Legendary producer Tomas Skogsberg takes the helm as usual to capture the 70’s vibes to the max, and it’s the classic line-up on these recordings. So joining long time singer/entertainer Sulo and keyboard wizard Henrik (The Duke Of Honk) Widen are the likes of Bobby Lee Fett, Mattias Hellberg and Stevie Klasson lending their guitar and vocal prowess.

The raw recording and deliver y of the title track is a perfect way to open proceedings. A melting pot of The Rolling Stones, The Faces and The New York Dolls is pretty much as good as it gets. An anthemic, live favourite that set in stone the classic sound that this band would take as their own. Guitars all over the shop, swathes of Hammond, but it’s the gritty vocalisin’ from main man Sulo that steals the show.

Up next ‘Throw It All Away’ is as good as it gets. Stabs of keys, guitars delivered from the crotch and a classic, timeless chorus. Could a song be any more 70’s sounding in 2001? Creating a sense of euphoria in music is not an easy thing to achieve, but Diamond Dogs deliver in spades again and again. With its lazy, rock ‘n’ roll riff and great percussion ‘Lunatic, Eye Rolling Delivery’ is a late night, boogie-woogie jam.  Juke joint music, designed to share a whisky and a dance with friends. It sounds like it was recorded live in one take, fuelled by wine, women and last night’s party…I could be wrong!

 

Like a fine red wine, Diamond Dogs songs age well. And it’s safe to say 20 years on that these 10 songs sound as fresh and vibrant as the first day I heard them. Although I must admit to playing these two EPs and the following third album to death when I first got my hands on them. (On a third generation cassette I hasten to add) Remember, no one was doing this sort of rock n roll around the turn of the century. Punk pop was the flavour of the month and to quote Lenny Kravitz; “rock and roll is dead! “

But Lenny was wrong. You may have forgotten, or you may not even be aware how many classic songs this band has in their arsenal. Its song after song, even with these hastily recorded and put together EPs. I mean c’mon…’Poison Honey’ is heartfelt balladry at its best, and ‘Passing Through My Heart’ could’ve been a long lost Faces ballad for sure. The beautiful backing vocals giving that Jagger/Richards vibe that many copy but rarely match. English isn’t his first language, but Sulo is hands above his contemporaries in mastering the English language in the context of heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll.

They tip their collective hat to their influences with two choice cover as well. The New York Dolls ‘Pills’ is suitable raw and ramshackle, but The Stones ‘Connection’, I feel they actually make it their own here, what do you think?

 

The fact that these 10 tracks were ‘between album songs’ not destined for general release is testament to the quality of songs Diamond Dogs have at their disposal. And while they went on to release many quality albums through the ensuing years, I feel the band reached their pinnacle with their third album ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’.

All great bands have a magic period where they can do no wrong and the songs just flow, seemingly out of their control, as if written by someone else. For me, Diamond Dogs golden period was between 2000 and 2002 and therefore this album is an essential vinyl purchase.

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was –  Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.

They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.

On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.

As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.

The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate.  The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.

 

The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.

Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

Sweden’s much-loved and well-travelled charismatic rock ‘n’ rollers Diamond Dogs have returned to the scene and they are bringing re-releases of their first 5 albums with them. Released through the Wild Kingdom record label, these 5 LPs cover the first 10 years of their existence, which began in 1993 with the album Honked.

Honked set the scene for the coming years for the Dogs. Headed by the singer/songwriter Sulo, the band would at various points involve musicians from a worldwide spectrum of spectacular and influential bands. Honked was big news in Sweden, and it pushed their boundaries far beyond Scandinavia, with single ‘Blue Eyes Shouldn’t Be Cryin’’ making its way onto MTV rotation, back when the M meant Music and not Money. It would see them tour all over the world with some of the biggest household names.

The album now has been repackaged as Honked (All Over Again) and includes three additional tracks in Lucille (Richard’s, not Kenny’s), Sweet Sister Sunrise and Big Bayou (originally by Swampwater and then covered extensively). Many years following its original release, Honked is still brimming with that delightful charm that has always been instilled in the Dogs’ music. Raunchy and swaggering, the Dogs’ music is unapologetically 70s inspired rock ‘n’ roll, rolling in a sweet mix of the Faces and the Stones. The song writing and the energy captured in the production ensure that it still stands up now.

The Diamond Dogs have always delivered this music in the best way possible – with honesty and charisma. If you like the Black Crowes or the Quireboys, and for some cruel reason the Diamond Dogs passed you by, diving into these 5 re-releases should set you straight. And there’s no better place to start than right at the beginning with Honked.

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Author: Craggy Collyde

 

Hellsingland Underground has come a long way from the breezy, southern rock epic anthems they used to base their sound around. Upon listening to the first moments of the new single ‘Carnival Beyond the Hills’ from their new album, A Hundred Years is Nothing, it’s clear to see some things have changed since those earlier days.

By all accounts, the band has not had an easy time over the years, and with this struggle, changes have come. Gone have the long, winding guitar parts which cut through their earlier work with such fluid ease. They have been replaced here with lighter, sometimes poppier tones deeply embedded in a largely atmospheric production. Existing fans should welcome the development. The change is both stark and refreshing.

Hellsingland Underground has always written anthemic music, songs which build sometimes deeper, sometimes bigger. And that is something that is still retained in the new record. But while it certainly worked for them before, the musical direction on this album makes it seem less of a struggle, and something far more natural. Dropping reliance on the tired, overdone southern rock sound has seemingly opened them up to a far more contemporary and creative space.

Songs such as ‘Strangelands’ and ‘Rainbow’s Gold’ are light, atmospheric ballads which seem to be exploring the width and depth of their songwriting capabilities. ‘Criminal Summer’, is a piano-based epic (the piano is often dominant on the album) which makes use of atmosphere as the tempo shifts, taking a song that is perhaps reminiscent of Supertramp, but making it wholly contemporary to today’s sounds. Other highlights include ‘I Win You Lose, I Guess’ with its catchy chorus, and the country-esque ‘Pig Farm’.

Sometimes they dip back into their bluesy roots, and it works brilliantly on ‘The Blessing and the Curse’. ‘Elephant’ too, takes the sound back to previous releases. But these are welcome additions to a refreshingly varied release. It’s a record that’s not afraid to experiment, that flirts with one sound after another. It’s certainly a complete record and one that sounds free from earlier constraints of style.

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Author: Craggy Collyde