Chicken Diamond: II (Beast Records)
French Blues from the road. Our man Adrian Bloxham investigates
Chicken Diamond is a one-man band from France. He makes what he calls punk blues. A battered French accent that sounds as if itâs been steeped in enough whiskey, petrol and cigarettes to kill any normal man.
All the musicians on this album are machines, he uses drum machines, bass loops and samples that sound as near to a live band as Iâve ever heard. Itâs a massive sound.
Blues, punk, rockânâroll, brash and thunder. Think about it, one man has created this noise. Guitar and voice carries it all…everything else is just icing and itâs the voice that drags you in, whiskey soaked and nicotine battered with too many nights screaming along to bands and howling at the moon.
This music takes you to back alleys in the wrong part of town. It puts you in clubs full of bearded leather clad bikers hopped up on God knows what. It echoes the primal blues and rockânâroll of those that took it a step too far, Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Cramps, early ZZ Top. Those that played RockânâRoll and Blues out to its limits and beyond.
Behind the beautiful, shot to hell, bloody and broken voice is the guitar. Fuzzed out and distorted to hell it makes the songs come to life and seals in the punk element. Loose and hard, it swings along behind those vocals.
You get straightforward blues, well as straightforward as this album gets, on âHigh blow bluesâ, you get slow burning blues that creep up into your head. The sound of slow menace crawling towards you on âGet Out Of This Townâ. A soft lament that turns nasty in a BB King cover. You get the spirit of lost highways and dusty roadsides captured by the most distinctive voice Iâve heard singing this music.
Chicken Diamond is one man from France but, until I see different, I believe heâs got the lost spirits of RockânâRoll, Blues and Punk that have gone before him, resurrected and made whole again, backing him in a band straight from hell. A triumph.
All words by Adrian Bloxham