By Jonathan Bradwell
Certain bands today hallmark themselves with a name that implores you to listen: “The Revolting Cocks” are a hackneyed example, and now, “Darker my Love”. This romantically introspective, psychedelic showcase have released there third studio album, exerting off any holdback that invariably changing a member of a rhythm section can instigate. Despite drummer ‘Andy Granelli’s’ decampment, “Alive As You Are” is an album that illustrates its traditional rock sound on it’s sleeves without becoming an inelegant simulacrum of musicians long gone. Whilst groove lathered choruses possess country music propinquity, make no miscalculation, this is the sound of 2010’s hippy rock.
It’s discernible right from the first track that the sound of the 1960’s Brit Pop band “The Beatles” is a super – colossal substratum for “Alive as You Are”, whether premeditated or inadvertent. Opener “Backseat” boasts this when the computable structure of the soft rock movements this album consolidates are discomposed by the grindingly cantankerous solo: A bluesy, irresolute start which explicates into a proficient use of the lead guitar, interlacing around the elephantine palpitations that the rest of the comrade’s project. Those classical wearisome vocals, as part of most psychedelic groups, repercuss even more in the path of John Lennon, during the writing of his more controversial pieces.
To those not courant with the antiquity of music, packaging “Alive as you Are” into the psychedelic box is an unobjectionable and fathomable way to interpret and circularize the release. To those cognizant of music past a decade ago, the encyclopaedic magnitude of sounds from contrastive musical eras becomes perceivable. In particular, track “18th Street Shuffle” has ultimately that 60’s experimental traction, but glazes over the 70’s rock n roll attitude whilst also imbibing a sort of 90’s grunge bass line. For a band active since 2004, “Darker my Love” appear to have such knowledge of music that enables them to be meritorious at composing older styles of music.
Undoubtedly the vocals are of staggering seriousness to seize the sighted sound for “Darker my Love” album “Alive as you Are”. Track “Trail the Line” sources with ‘Tim Presley’ (vocals) singing without music for a few bars, which is stimulating as the remainder of the release is plenteously guitar orientated. However, approaching the end of the record, ‘Rob Barbato’ (bass) and ‘Dan Allaire’ (drums) stand out as precedent reasons why the album is so inducing and why one listen is not going to be commensurate. “A lovely game” mixes a lackadaisical, flowing bass surface that is quilted out with forceful drumming that has an indescribably titillating effect.
“Darker my Love” could have decimated “Alive as you Are” by being that little too heavy, too experimental, or too ambient. In relinquishing these enticements, whilst still condoning themselves to dabble in other accompanying genres, an unrefuted psychedelic album will once again dominate the shelves of music shops and the alcoves of our record collections. Although the melodies and vocal tactics (for example the elongating of words to contain various different notes, like on the chorus of track Ten), are not so discrepant from what has been and gone, “Darker my love” deserve all the commendation they secure for not following the trends what is stereotypically fashionable today.
(Picture courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit)
Video of “Darker my Love” song “Two Ways Out”… This song is not on the album reviewed above…