London based two-piece The Diamond Lights performed at Islington’s Hope & Anchor on 10 May. Their guitar and drum setup invited comparisons to The Black Keys, but their no-frills, back-to-basics approach owes more to smaller bands like Japandroids and No Age. The primal but precise sound of Glenn Fryatt on drums is the perfect counterbalance to the thrash and unhinged performance of Chris Hornby on guitar and lead vocals, harking back to early Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. As Hornby's guitar rips through the tiny basement, he belts out opener CTF with a vocal reminiscent of a young Mark E. Smith. Armed with a bank of effects peddles, he plays and distorts the guitar to ferocious effect with Glenn’s drumming providing the backbone for their muscular sound. At a lean 25 minutes, they play just seven songs, but save the best for last in Yes Sir, a dirty little garage rock belter complete with Stooges' riffs and wolf howls. It all made for a great end to a rough and ready sonic attack that shred our ears in the best possible way. Words: Stuart Livens Photos: Robin Pope