There are some things of which one can´t help but feel skeptical about...I remember reading about Bill Steer´s venture into Seventies Rock wih his new band FIREBIRD and thinking of the killer CARCASS material that he was a part of. Being young and ever so narrow-minded in those days, I couldn´t help but think “ok, the guy´s finished... this will never work," and yet here I sit, a decade later, reviewing their sixth “longplayer” (it´s not that long).
Steer and Co´s recipe is pretty simple, a basic Rock´N´Roll riff base, groovy bass work, straight up drumming, and Rockabilly and Blues flaired solo playing, completely and utterly devoid of experimentation, keyboards, sampling, anything that comes across as different, very easy to enjoy or loathe, depends hehe. Steer´s handling the vocals as well as the guitar playing, his singing is decent and suits the material well.
“Double Diamond” covers a good share of groovy vibes, whether the rhythm´s slightly oriental (“Arabesque”), standard-tapping-of-the-foot (“Pound Of Flesh”) or balladesque (“Pantomime” and “Farewell”), the groove´s always at the front and center, their number one trademark. The songs don´t go over three minutes, except one or two, so if you´re craving something epic and progressive, you won´t find it on this album.
I´m guessing the band is paying homage to an era of music more than doing anything else, an homage to bands like CREAM, DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN. While aforementioned bands created and defined the rougher sounds of Rock music, FIREBIRD stay in a comfortable zone, performing said sound well enough but just aren´t that exciting, still comfy though, like getting a hug from your grandma.
(Online June 16, 2011)