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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: The Leaky Diamond - Five Bedroom Demonstrations

The Leaky Diamond - Five Bedroom Demonstrations
2009, The Leaky Diamond

Casey Grimes lives the DIY ethic, with each CD he produces being entirely handmade. Recording and performing as The Leaky Diamond, Grimes uses inexpensive equipment in his home to record his songs, producing CD copies on his computer with handmade artwork. For instruments, Grimes uses his guitar, a "cheap synth", scissors, cars keys, an exercise ball and whatever he finds of sonic value. The Leaky Diamond's latest project, Five Bedroom Demonstrations has the perquisite Lo-Fi feel but is more polished than you might expect.

Five Bedroom Demonstrations opens with Maka, an impassioned tune with a strong vocal line that is nonetheless nearly indecipherable lyrically. Whether it’s the microphone used, the reverb or Grimes' enunciation, the words blend together so as to lose their distinct meaning. The vocal harmonies are strong; the song sounds decent enough, but little ends up being communicated. Believe has similar issues, and the energy level here is very flat. The Leaky Diamond picks up the pace somewhat for Winterseen. The sound here is a bit rougher, however, and seems to lose focus at times. Your Mythology has some real potential, but as with much of the rest of the material here Grimes really needs a collaborator of some sort. The extra tension of another creative hand may serve to bring out the best in The Leaky Diamond. The closing cut is Time Is Freed, an experimental track with electronic elements that seems more focused on sounds than anything else. The vocal line here is decent for sound but lifeless in energy. Even when the pace of the song picks up the energy just never fully comes to the fore.

The Leaky Diamond is interesting in theory and approach, but the end result is just a bit too rough around the edges of mass consumption. Grimes has an adequate voice but the instrumental composition of his songs is not what you'd expect of a professional recording irrespective of the sound/recording approach. Working with at least one collaborator would work to firm up the sound and focus the songwriting.

Rating: 1.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Leaky Diamond at, where you can stream Five Bedroom Demonstrations. If you're looking to acquire a physical copy, contact The Leaky Diamond through his MySpace page.

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