Those Darlins

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"Be Your Bro" is funny and beautiful, whether or not I'll feel that way in a year. They sound like the girl group Patsy Cline never joined, plus raunch. I liked the last album enough to get excited, but the new one is truly jukebox righteous. I wanna see 'em open for Old 97's at First Avenue.

Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 22:14 (six years ago) Permalink

RFI

Is "Be Your Bro" the album's title, or just a song on it? I liked the first one too and didn't realize that another one was comin'.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 22:16 (six years ago) Permalink

Screws Get Loose, out March 29.

Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 22:20 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

This is probably my favorite record of the year so far.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:00 (six years ago) Permalink

not liking the new direction :(

\o_o/.... ,o_o,.... o_oC.... /o_o\ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:01 (six years ago) Permalink

They sound like the girl group Patsy Cline never joined, plus raunch.

they took out the "fuck"s in "Fatty Needs A Fix." Sounds so awkward it makes me sad.

\o_o/.... ,o_o,.... o_oC.... /o_o\ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:02 (six years ago) Permalink

I wasn't familiar with the old direction. I never heard of them before the Robert Christgau review. What did they sound like before?

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:16 (six years ago) Permalink

What did they sound like before?

Like they do now, but with less precision.

That's why they call me (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:18 (six years ago) Permalink

New album > first album, imo

That's why they call me (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:18 (six years ago) Permalink

they were more countrypunk and now are kind of viv-girl imo

\o_o/.... ,o_o,.... o_oC.... /o_o\ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:39 (six years ago) Permalink

I reviewed the new one, favorably, for Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/screws-get-loose-20110329

But, to be honest, though I liked the album immediately, it -- just like their first one -- doesn't hold up nearly as well as I'd hoped to repeat listening. The music itself is just not as interesting or raucous as I want it to be; like George Smith also pointed out on Rolling Country (where they've been discussed fairly often over the past few years), Xgau's Donnas comparison is really unfair to the Donnas, since Those Darlins are incapable of the Donnas' hard rock chops and dynamics. Anyway, as of now, I like both albums about the same. The new one might improve the songwriting a little. But the first album just struck me as more distinctive.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:47 (six years ago) Permalink

By comparison, my old Rhapsody review of their debut:

http://www.rhapsody.com/those-darlins/those-darlins#albumreview

Obviously, I like them -- too much to slag them in print, anyway. I just wish I liked them a lot more than I do.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:52 (six years ago) Permalink

I think the new one is a huge leap forward. xhuxk, I'm sorta glad it isn't more raucous than it already is. The rumors going around town about this album before it was released were that the girls had fully embraced the 'garage rock' thing, and I was pretty much dreading it - just what the world needs, a female Black Lips, am I right? - but the album was a very pleasant surprise. It's more Ramones or early Cheap Trick than, say, The Gories. I think going all fuzzy and lo-fi would have been a grave mistake, and would have made them indistinguishable from a lot of other bands.

TBF, I don't think I have ever knowingly heard the Vivian Girls, or the Dum Dum Girls, or any of these other suddenly popular 'lo fi' girl bands with an affinity for gratuitous reverb. But I dig the Darlins. I think this new album has a handful of really great tunes - "Hives," "Tina Said," and the title track, especially.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:28 (six years ago) Permalink

I have ever knowingly heard the Vivian Girls

meh, don't bother.

or the Dum Dum Girls

get on top of that asap.

That's why they call me (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:30 (six years ago) Permalink

I just read an article in Stomp and Stammer about them. I guess they've just gone from 'solo project' to full band? Where do I start? Intrigued. The name turned me off, initially.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:15 (six years ago) Permalink

Start with the He Gets Me High ep that just came out a month ago, and then hear the album from last year (the discography's not that big, really). I just saw them live last month—first live show I'd seen in ages by any band—and it was great. They're all business. Almost no stage banter.

That's why they call me (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:25 (six years ago) Permalink

The name's a take on an Iggy Pop song btw, "Dum Dum Boys".

That's why they call me (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:25 (six years ago) Permalink

xp Ha, actually, the new album made me think of Black Lips a lot. Definitely never makes me think of Cheap Trick -- I wish it did! And I don't think fuzzy or lo-fi would've helped, either; they're fuzzy and lo-fi enough. But I've never equated being lo-fi with rocking out; usually just the opposite. Early Cheap Trick had way more kick than the Black Lips do. (And I think the Black Lips are pretty good, fwiw, though I've been losing interest in them lately.) As for the Ramones, I hear them referenced one or two times on the new album, but I don't know that Those Darlins ever sound like them, really. Hate to say it, but they sound too indie rock. (Which is I guess where Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls -- neither of whom seem all that great to me -- come in.)

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:28 (six years ago) Permalink

xp yeah, I know it's an Iggy song, that's why I hate it. So conspicuous. Oh, look, a bunch of hot twentysomethings and their compulsory referencing of a hip song! Wonder if they'll get signed. But I'll check 'em out. Thanks!

xhuck - you don't hear even a little Robin Zander on "Hives?"

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:33 (six years ago) Permalink

Not really, though I guess I can see how there's some kind of attempt at quivering powerpop-whatever in that melody.

Anyway, "raucous" was probably the wrong word. I just don't think they really cut it as a rock band, I guess. (And I want punk bands to be rock bands; I know some people don't.) And I didn't think they quite cut it as a cowpunk band, either, though I get the idea they came closer then. (Or maybe I'm just so nostalgic for Jason & the Scorchers after decades of sleepy alt-country that I cut them slack.) Anyway, here's something I wrote two years ago, and I oddly enough I complained about lack of raucousness back then, too. Maybe it's just that Those Darlins sound somehow frustratingly reined in to me. And I wish their playing had more to grab on to. And they still really do "tinny and thin," which is the other thing I complained about their debut in the post below. If they're aiming for Cheap Trick/Donnas/Ramones, they're coming up short now the same way they came up short when seemingly aiming for Dolls and Diddley and the '20s white country blues guys I named below last time out.

Rolling Country 2009 Thread

Christgau also mentioned Be Your Own Pet, right? Another band, like Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls, who've never really done a thing for me. Like George said on Rolling Country last week: "determinedly thrift store rock." Which the Gore Gore Girls, for one, did way, way better than any of these bands, a decade ago.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 20:35 (six years ago) Permalink

Jessi's a more distinctive voice than all that IMO. She sounds like Joan Jett with a twang to me (a ref snipped from my SPIN review), which makes a cool contrast to the more sustained prettiness of the new songs. I don't know, I like what I've heard of the Dum Dum Girls, but not enough to separate them in my mind from other bands going back from the Raveonettes through the riot grrrl groups and the Shop Assistants to the Pleasure Seekers (the big bang singularity of all this?), all bands working the same tradition but with their own sound. To me, the non-rocking, hungover/lackadaisical aspect of Those Darlins is what sets them apart. But that also means I'm going to replay songs like "Screws Get Loose" (with that beautiful wobbly guitar) and skip "BUMD," which really required a punk band.

Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:15 (six years ago) Permalink

Crap, just found out SPIN inserted an error in my review.

Pete Scholtes, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 15:50 (six years ago) Permalink

Agree about "BUMD," one of four songs on this record I don't really like ("$," "Fatty Needs A Fix" and "Waste Away" being the others) - basically, side 2 is a bit of a letdown after a killer side 1 and "Tina Said."

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 17:26 (six years ago) Permalink

Yes. Tina Said is absolutely killer.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 17:49 (six years ago) Permalink

Joan Jett doesn't sing through her nose, or sounds like that, like Those Darlins. There's no missing the difference in brawn. They now have their own thing going, anyway, which I suppose is due in great part to the two reviews in Rolling Stone. I assume that's xhuxk's doing.

FWIW, I like the song "Screws Get Loose" better than "Be Your Bro.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=refiQC52UR0&feature=related

Even through the very bad sound quality, if this sounds like Cheap Trick at any point in their career, I'm speechless.

Gorge, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 17:53 (six years ago) Permalink

Start with the He Gets Me High ep that just came out a month ago

Sorry, but I don't see what separates this from all the other girl groups doing this same thing, except this doesn't seem to have any hooks or memorable melodies, and sounds the most like Letters to Cleo of any of these bands. Even the Smiths cover seems sorta pointless - sounds like it's in the same key, and at the same tempo, as the original. What's the point?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 20:53 (six years ago) Permalink

Make that three errors.

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 14 April 2011 22:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Rewind! I like the Dum Dum Girls EP a lot--my mind is opening on them a bit.

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 16 April 2011 20:18 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

In a car commercial:

http://sgrrc.com/those-darlins-song-featured-in-a-kia-commercial/499/

Pete Scholtes, Friday, 22 July 2011 17:40 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

They were pretty great tonight--finally saw them! The title song is great live too, as this vid (better than any of their official ones) shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KdHZ2zAUPc

Pete Scholtes, Saturday, 8 October 2011 05:03 (five years ago) Permalink

awesome

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 8 October 2011 05:46 (five years ago) Permalink

cool chorus

bamcquern, Saturday, 8 October 2011 06:20 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWfc4yiN_k0

just sayin, Tuesday, 10 September 2013 18:29 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
eight months pass...

Very hard news. This piece from a couple of months ago is crucial reading.

http://www.nashvillescene.com/news/cover-story/article/20862892/the-undefeatable-jessi-zazu

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 September 2017 19:29 (one week ago) Permalink

I never saw the band live, and never met Jessi, but she was a good friend to many of my friends and they're all heartsick today.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 13 September 2017 20:15 (one week ago) Permalink

Me upthread in 2011: "I just saw them live last month—first live show I'd seen in ages by any band—and it was great. They're all business. Almost no stage banter."

Fuck, I'd totally forgotten.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 13 September 2017 20:27 (one week ago) Permalink


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