Do you like Joy Division? Then Diamonds For Eyes may get it done for you. Now I’m not saying that the Des Moines four-piece is a Joy Division knock-off, or even that they’re necessarily trying to be. I am saying that there’s something reminiscent in the sound of the two bands, primarily in the vocals. Front man Joshua Putney sings with an Ian Curtis-esque drone that generally works really well — see “No Lament For True Lovers” — but sits in contrast to the instrumentals on the more upbeat tracks. The album is also mixed in a way that makes Putney sound as if he’s laying down his tracks in the next room, which serves to give the vocals even more emotional distance from the instrumentals. It’s an interesting stylistic choice that may alienate as many people as it endears, but for the most part it works well within the album. CV
Diamonds For Eyes CD release party at Vaudeville Mews on Friday, Nov. 16, at 9 p.m., $5.
‘Iowa City Song Project’
Compilation albums are tricky things. What you often wind up with are collections of songs that are B-sides, leftovers from previous albums or half-finished ideas that probably shouldn’t have seen the light of day. Fortunately, “Iowa City Song Project” has managed to avoid most of those pitfalls. Commissioned by Iowa City’s historic Englert Theater, 31 Iowa musicians wrote and recorded songs inspired by the state’s first capital city. The subject matter may be curiously specific and would appear, at first blush, to alienate anyone who’s not a Hawkeye fan, but the album manages to be inclusive and listenable purely by virtue of the level of talent involved in the project. Featuring artists like William Elliot Whitmore, Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown, “Iowa City Song Project” is a celebration not just of the titular city, but of the state as a whole, and the music that comes from every corner of it. CV