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Dear Diary: Dear Diary
Dear Diary album new music review

Dear Diary: Dear Diary

Melodic Hard Rock
3.75/5.0

Once more, with Dear Diary, Eonian Records lifts another American band from languishing in hard rock obscurity. Though the time frame is a bit muddy, Dear Diary emerged from Chicago in the late Eighties, and then expired in the early Nineties. These archival recordings on this self-titled work seem to be culled from several early demos. Read more of Dear Diary's history at Eonian Records.

Thinking late Eighties in concert with melodic hard rock would lead one to lump Dear Diary in the whole glam rock genre of that day. However, that would be a grossly, and possibly unnecessary, negative association. Certainly photos, promo, live and otherwise, don't lie: yeah, the boys looked the part. But while the image resembled the times and their peers, Dear Diary seemed to pursue to substance over style, fundamentals over fashion.

With the melody and hooks common to the genre, Dear Diary's vibe is often heavier, but not necessarily near heavy metal. By example, She Danced for Me has a real melodic rock feel, almost 'pop' feel, yet the groove is deeper. Similar suggestions could be made of Red Rose Burn, and this makes me wonder if the mix engineer had a heavy hand, or that Dear Diary simply wanted to a darker edge to their tunes. Certainly, Red Rose Burn, Dream in Color, the somewhat predictable but also quizzical Tanqueray Tina, and the oddly titled and thumping Shiny Like the Bubbled Glass prove that Dear Diary were working against typical Sunset Strip trends.

While song craftsmanship and integrity are at a premium here, I'm not entirely convinced. That thread of heaviness wears easily, making the songs roll in upon themselves, enough to suggest some slight redundancy. The production is blessed with clarity, but almost to antiseptic sterility. Also, the verdict is still out on Jeff Evans' vocals. Passion and ability are no issue; yet, he sounds like every band's vocalist. Nevertheless, when I listen to Momma Said or the closer Plain to See, these objections evaporate quickly. With the strength of Plain to See, if Dear Diary would have stayed together, they may have weathered the grunge storm already brewing around them.

Another late Eighties archival revival, Dear Diary is solid and representative melodic hard rock from that era. But, thankfully, not another clone or wannabe of the fading glam rock of the same. Recommended.




CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Another late Eighties archival revival, Dear Diary is solid and representative melodic hard rock from that era. But, thankfully, not another clone or wannabe of the fading glam rock of the same. Recommended.

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