Other kids in the early ‘80s rode bikes or built model cars. Me, I was a peculiar boy. I preferred to play with jukeboxes at pizza joints. There was nothing better than dropping a quarter or two or three into the jukebox and magically hearing the music I loved. I miss those days. Digital jukeboxes are just not the same. And the crap music you tend to find on them is too depressing to ponder at length. I’d like to think that the best jukeboxes still exist in dive bars, where the cheap lager flows abundantly and the Stones, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Thin Lizzy still reign supreme. What I love about the new single from Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band is that it would fit in perfectly with that type of jukebox. It is, as advertised, high energy rock n’ roll. It’s two songs, both great, that lift the spirits. Call it heartland rock, call it Midwestern punk, call it
, call it whatever. What it is is great frakin' music! Americana
Nato Coles was a great friend to Now Wave Magazine. His Modern Machines was one of our favorite bands of the early-to-mid 2000s. He was a regular on our message board. And God bless him, the man has not stopped rocking! Post Modern Machines, he relocated to
Brooklyn and was in the Radio Faces and Used Kids. Then he moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul and got together with the Blue Diamond Band. “Play Loud” is the band’s second single, and hands down it’s one of the year’s best. Both cuts rule in sort of a Springsteen meets Replacements way. You know what I’m talking about: real catchy blue collar rock n’ roll with cool guitar leads and sing-along choruses. Aces! And I like that the B-side “Runnin’ From the Law” is as good if not better than the A-side! Hell, let’s just call it a double A-side! A style this simple is sometimes overlooked, but do not sleep on Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band! These are incredibly well-written tunes combining radio-ready hooks and killer bar band chops. What could be better?! And I love that there’s a quality to both songs that makes me want to play them over and over. This is feel-good music! Grab a PBR tallboy out of the fridge, go to the Nato Coles Bandcamp page, download this single to your “digital turntable”, and have yourself a time! Nato, I promise we’ll take good care of Jim Thome.