Better Noise Records [Release date 15.06.18]
Mixing pop, alt and classic rock, the debut album of 21 year old LA-based Diamante Azzura Bovell’s (she’s of Mexican/ Italian parentage) is a humungous slice of 80′s influenced, American radio friendly, hard-hitting pop/rock.
Produced by Howard Benson – no stranger to female fronted rock, having produced Halestorm’s faultless debut and worked Kelly Clarkson and Flyleaf – Coming In Hot is choreographed to appeal to an audience who want their rock hot, raunchy, and sassy.
And with touring notches on her bedpost of Flyleaf (on the Revolver Magazine Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock tour), David Coverdale/Whitesnake, and Hinder (multi-platinum, angsty American rockers, but a new one on me), and an ever increasing YouTube following, the future looks bright for Diamante.
But it sort of says it all that, a fan of artists like Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne, Diamante has emerged via a School of Rock summer programme. So, while it may be brash, sassy, and have instant ‘kerb appeal’ in abundance, make no mistake, there is a distinct whiff of rock and rock ‘n’ roll by numbers about Coming In Hot.
All the right boxes are ticked – the humungous Joan Jett/Runaways title track opener, ‘The Sound Of Us’ echoes Benatar and Halestorm, and numbers like ‘Had Enough’ and ‘Black Heart’ would have easily fitted into a P!nk set, had she continued her flirtation with rock. ‘Haunted’ and ‘Sleepwalking’ have Lzzy Hale/Halestorm stamped all over them.
There’s a cover (and to be fair, a pretty decent update) of Heart’s ‘Crazy On You’, and the obligatory ballad – ‘I’m Sorry’. Diamante’s vocals throughout have just the just the right amount of edge, and with her ‘hot’ looks (although the cover conveys a rather clean cut image), it adds up to a hormonal teenage boy’s musical ‘wet dream’.
Impressively put together, I’d normally fall for this sort of release hook, line, and sinker. But I just can’t shake the feel that it’s overly contrived. Nevertheless, it’s easy to imagine American youth taking the Diamante bait like lemmings. I’d like to say it could only happen in Hollywood, or even only in America. But with an American Idol winner now fronting ‘Queen’ it could happen everywhere. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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