Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
We're not sure if we'd ever go anywhere with Richmond, Virginia's Brandi Price, the lead singer of the Diamond Center -- at least, nowhere at night. The problem is, it's the only time she wants to do anything. She seems to have the nocturnal gene, the yellow eyes and the spookiness running through her. We'd always be wary that things were going to turn out badly, as if she could just snap and we'd be done for, trapped and shaking in our skin. It's all crackling air and charged up hairs on the backs of our necks when she's cookin' and dealin', leading us on with a voice that could put an insomniac into a trance - some blissfully deep trance. Their eyes would start spinning like screwdriver heads, just the way the mole's did in Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," with him all wrapped up in a spell and unable to function. Price, while a lovely person, frames her nature in song and singing manner, as someone who's working potions and dabbling in black magic, just to get these ideas out and into verse. The rest of the band, which began in Lubbock, Texas, but recently relocated to Richmond when Price got accepted to the graduate program of graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University, does little to water down the mood of the music, relying on that robust tension that Price insinuates in nearly everything she sings. Guitarist Kyle Harris and former drummer Jana Price (who's been replaced by a pair of drummers in Tim Falen and Willis Thompson, as well as adding a new bassist in Will Godwin after the move to the east) supply the muddy groove and the mostly downtrodden and howling-at-the-moon somberness in abundance. It feels as if we could be dancing with some of the most romantic hellhounds out there, when Price is singing. She's got them dogs up on their hind legs and they've got their front paws on her shoulders, going around the fires.