They may be Boston-based, but Clem Snide was still one of the best alt country bands going throughout the ’90s and early aughts. Their debut, “You Were a Diamond,” which came out in 1998, is finally getting a proper vinyl re-release courtesy of Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. This is one of those albums that was just begging for the warmth of vinyl; it’s a stripped down, minimalist sound that makes it impossible to hide any flaws. And surprisingly, there aren’t any. The calmness of the album serves only to enhance the guitars and Eef Barzelay’s haunting vocals.
The band does a sweet cover of Hank Williams “Lost on the River,” but it’s the original songs here where the band can really show off, like on the tender almost-ballad, “Nick Drake Tape” or the 5-minute album closer “Chinese Baby.”
Melancholy and beautifully executed, “You Were a Diamond” is finally getting a proper re-introduction, thanks to this vinyl release.