Saturday, August 22, 2009

2-Darker My Love

Darker My Love
Status-Out as of 2008
2nd Studio Album
Rating-3 feathers

Darker My Love, named for a song by punk band TSOL, got their start in LA, with members hailing from such bands as The Distillers. After the release of their virtually unknown eponymous debut, Darker My Love are back with a vengeance. Their second album, 2, is that call to arms. Whether they deem it as a “hitchhiker’s guide to getting through LA” or “a manual to help you deal with daily existence”, they may just be embellishing a smidge.

Firing off with ‘Northern Soul’, they are very clearly confident with their sound, which is somewhat refreshing. Sure, the vocals sound a little too generic, but the bass, drums, and guitar thunder at you with thumping promise. ‘Blue Day’ shows a little less ferocity, but its sound is very similar to the previous. The vocals fade dramatically, and the chorus of “Isn’t it strange?” is pretty irritating. ‘Two Ways Out’ is surely the stand out track from the album. The instruments all offer the same distorted sound that the previous two songs did, but somehow it feels different. Perhaps it’s the classic indie vocals or the bright ‘ooh ooh’s’. Either way, it’s a great guitar indie tune with a thick distorted guitar to give it that Darker My Love flair. Though until this point, they’ve only demonstrated their heavy sound, ‘White Composition’ brings to the table that midpoint break. Its lovely jazz inspired guitar and drums bring to mind a wet, drizzly day, while the psychedelic vocals and organ flourishes fit the mood so perfectly it makes you almost delighted. Past this point, the shear innovativeness halts, and the generic self-indulgent guitar solos commence. ‘Add One to the Other One’ sounds like an impromptu recording session. The 1st two minutes are an overdrawn spacey jam where nothing happens. At all. The vocals come in for 30 seconds, and leave when a similar heavier jam session is induced. ‘Even In Our Lightest Day’ is similarly unbearable. The vocals bring nothing to the song, just an endless drone and nothing interesting or even remotely catchy shows itself. This over repetitive self-indulgent pompous streak continues through five songs in total and doesn’t cease until the finale. I’m not saying that ‘Immediate Undertaking’ is a whole lot more interesting, but it does provide something you can focus on. It too is a bit drone-y, but the acoustic guitar strumming along with a Beatlesque psychedelic electric guitar melodies create a feeling of slumber and tiredness. Sure, the vocals give you that in it of itself, but at least the instrumentation brings you some closure.

Darker My Love have succeeded in the sense that they’ve created a very obvious sound. I can envision ‘Two Ways Out’ and ‘White Composition’ being immediate favorites of all those who come across this group. As an album, however, I was very disappointed. The first half of the album is great: they suck you in further and further with each song offering a new element to their sound. But, once they enter into the realm of self indulgence your perspective on 2 dies hard. Darker My Love show great promise, but for now, I’ll keep this ‘manual to deal with daily life’ out of my daily life.

“Yeah, it’s cool. It’s hot.”-Jared Everett

Video for Two Ways Out

Recommendations: Northern Soul, Two Ways Out, White Composition
Darker My Love's Blogger Blog
Darker My Love's Myspace
Note: I won't be having a review out until Saturday, maybe. But, I will be reviewing Humbug by Arctic Monkeys as my next review. Be sure to go out and buy it when it comes out Tuesday! Also, apparently Raditude was named by Rainn Wilson. Weird...

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