(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CD review - Darlings, Warma (2010)

Warma begins with a short squeal of feedback and an immediate power pop march beat. Darlings set up an upbeat mood as they grind through Don't Be So Hard On Yourself. The bouncy lilt of the vocals contrast with the lyrics:
Cinnamon Girl (you got one thing on your mind)
I could watch you for hours
I could show you how to die, but I like you
Die, I could still show you
It's not quite as dark as it reads. The song comes across as supportive. I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean, but it works.

The Warma EP is a mere six tracks of garage punk heaven. The songs are thrashy and low-fi, with just the right touch of dirty distortion. Darlings make the music something special with their cheery, almost naive approach. What sells it is the vocal mix, a sense of Cracker with Nico. Peter Rynsky's vocal hits that sneery David Lowery sound, while Maura Lynch's voice has a lower tone. The two together evoke the harmonies of the Velvet Underground and Nico even if the mood is more optimistic.

My favorite track is Born Heavy, with its speedy tempo and angular guitar riff verse. The deadpan ironic delivery on the verses ("Put on my first tee shirt, dyed my hair black, let it grow down to the ground") balances the retro '60s sound (Herman's Hermits I'm Into Something Good) of the chorus.

So far, Darlings have released one song off the EP, Big Girl, which has more of an early Liz Phair sound.
Darlings - Big Girl (on PopMatters)

Give Darlings a listen. The cathartic wash of garage rock will satisfy. I'd recommend a simple American pale ale to complement the music.

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