Friday, 9 November 2012

Darling Don't Dance - City Ghosts

Album review by KevW

Now this is more in line with what the UK music press would have us believe is the predominant sound emanating from the cities and shores of Denmark. And while they may not be quite in the same category as noise-terrorists like Iceage, Copenhagen's Darling Don't Dance do create a righteous and riotous sound of their own that may result in your speakers suffering from mild anxiety about what they'll be subjected to next. This quartet are taking a leaf out of fellow Scandinavians Culkin or Then Comes Silence's book and ploughing into the acerbic and visceral US grunge and alt-rock scenes, combining a lorry-load of guitars with some all conquering drumming and vocals that are driven by passion and anger.

They draw from punk and pretty much any variety of music since then that has adopted snarling guitars as its weapon of choice. There's diversity though, and although these sounds have been made before, Darling Don't Dance mix them about and include plenty of melody so the songs don't get lost in a dull maelstrom of guitars that we've all heard dozens of times previously. For example, 'Never Seen Anything Like This' is a post-punk track that someone has made very very angry indeed. In fact, if these songs were to manifest themselves in human form, you wouldn't want to meet any of them down a dark alley. 'Colour Song' also begins with the sound of post-punk but by the end is a psychotic, wailing monster of considerable force. Whatever the power driving these songs is, it's definitely a strong one, and probably fairly hostile.

With this level and style of guitar usage we're probably looking at a Dinosaur Jr. fan somewhere amongst the ranks of Darling Don't Dance. There are gentler moments, but they're few and far between, with only the brief breaks in 'Wait For High Tide' and 'Golden View' offering some respite. It's the melodies of tracks like 'GIN', 'The Languages We Speak' or 'Movies' that prevent the album from becoming one dimensional. Despite the relentless onslaught of guitars, 'City Ghosts' does have something of a pop aspect to it and you could imagine most of these songs being stripped down or remixed into something far more accessible, but really there's no need, as Darling Don't Dance have done a stellar job of making them sound like the rough diamonds they are and needless tampering would be just that; needless.

Darling Don't Dance's website

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