Thursday 2 February 2012

Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose

Album review by KevW

This article also appears on

Take a healthy portion of girl group melodies, add a spattering of Ramones punk spirit, a sprinkle of Blondie's pop hooks, dust with some Mary Chain fuzz, and what do you get? About half of the alternative guitar-pop bands around at the moment, that's what. It's a category that Tennessee quartet Those Darlins can't deny they fall in to. It also won't surprise you to learn that Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast is a fan. If the idea of another name to add to the current scuzz-pop glut is enough to make you want to set fire to your Vivian Girls CDs, then hold your horses.

For starters the press shots are a just touch more glamorous than the tattered CBGB's chic favoured by many, and while the production and attitude remain resolutely lean and to the point, 'Screws Get Loose' is an album where most tracks could be considered single contenders. Too often with this approach the resulting records are a handful of great tracks padded out with what, at best, could be described as b-sides. This is not the case here. There is little filler although, oddly, this almost has a detrimental effect. Rather than peaks and troughs, this album is something of a plateau, lacking any real 'eureka!' moments.

There is a vein of Riot Grrrl running through these songs and at some points we get hints of glam, particularly on the excellent 'Mystic Mind'. There may be no duffers but the nearest we get to real stand-outs are the fuzzy title track (free from the widget below), 'Be Your Bro', 'Tina Says' and the jangly pop of 'Waste Away'. So, nothing life changing, but if this kind of thing is your bag then you can't go wrong with 'Screws Get Loose'. Bands of this variety may be two-a-penny at the moment but Those Darlins are definitely worth a few bob of most people's money.

Those Darlins' website

Buy the album

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