Rising from the dollar bin like a coked-out phoenix clad in midriff-baring shirt and three days worth of stubble comes fucking Diamond Reo. Not to be confused with the country band whose name only varies by one letter (apparently this particular band took their name from the same automotive company that supplied the appellation for Reo Speedwagon), the group of lowlives in question came out of Pittsburgh in the early 70s, offered up a few albums, much of which was thoroughly forgettable Mott The Hoople knockoff bullshit, but in the middle managed the brilliant scum-rock sleaze of Dirty Diamonds.
Most of it's mid-tempo Rust Belt butt-rock of the sort that saw its apex between 1971 and 1974. Copious cowbell abuse propping up the basest of Mark Farner aspirations. The album's opener, “All Over You,” is about ejaculating (all over, as the title specifies) somebody. And while none of the other songs really get to that level of base dumbness, it definitely establishes the general tone of the album. Take “It's A Jungle Out There” - a tribute to the toughness necessary to survive the rough-and-tumble urban life, that sounds like a half-speed prophecy of “Welcome To The Jungle” both in riff and lyrical conceit and is especially funny considering none of these dudes look exactly like the kick-ass-and-take-names type. Or “Boys Will Be Boys,” a paean to dudes who do dude stuff with other dudes (possibly as homoerotic as I just made it sound, I dunno). A few tracks pick up the pace to something not a million miles removed from the NWOBHM that was congealing across the pond around the same time, but this had nothing to do with leather and spikes crowd singing about swords and dragons.
It's pure id music, all libido, adrenaline, and testosterone - subtlety (and shirts that cover the full torso) be damned. It ain't special but there's not much better for drinking a few six packs of Mickey's alone on the porch in the middle of the afternoon with all the doors open or changing your own oil or something. It's ridiculous as shit and twice as dumb but it's a fun listen, a regional anachronism, a time capsule from the era of quadrophonic sound and quaaludes. Turn the shit up and get dumb as fuck.