Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Darcys: "Warring" (album review)

In a local scene that's crowded with indie folk and roots acts, it's refreshing to hear some bombast.  Enter Etobicoke boys The Darcys and their new studio album Warring (out September 17th).

The Darcys have always cared more about creating atmospheres and moods than they have about abiding by traditional song structures, and that's equally true on this record.  Their spacey shoegazer is meant to make you feel the songs rather than sit there listening to the poetry of the lyrics.  The clear from the get-go with the menacing, amorphous swirl of the opener "Close To Me".

Tension and anticipation play a big role on the album.  Your body almost clenches up with "Itchy Blood", while the controlled release of "Muzzle Blast" is like watching the surgical demolition of an abandoned building.

With it's haunting feel and high-pitched vocals, "The Pacific Theatre" is the direction that Radiohead probably should've gone in with their sound.

The tempo picks up for the frenetic "Pretty Girls", making it one of the more accessible songs on the album.  Just as infectious, but in a less obvious way, is "The River".  That song snakes and churns along, just like it's namesake.

The difficulty I have with most of The Darcys albums is that I find it hard to work them into my listening rotation.  I need to be in a very specific headspace to properly experience their records, and that's not happening much these days.  It means that Warring may sit on the shelf untouched for long stretches.  But when needed, you'll be happy that it's there.

Best tracks: "Pretty Girls", "Muzzle Blast"

Track listing for Warring:
  • Close To Me
  • Hunting
  • Horses Fell
  • Itchy Blood
  • The Pacific Theatre
  • The River
  • Pretty Girls
  • 747s
  • Muzzle Blast
  • Lost Dogfights

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