Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Darts - The Darts 2 (EP)

I have ranted'n'raved about the Darts' wild'n'raucous live shows on numerous occasions, and also about the previous, rockin' debut EP, so a new EP is certainly cause for celebration.

Continuing with their organ-drenched garage rock'n'roll fever in the vein of Nicole'n'Christina's previous combo, the Love Me Nots, this package provides a fresh batch of tunes that highlights their instrumental talent and songwriting abilities.

Once again, Christina's fuzz bass introduces and drives the opening "My Heart is a Graveyard", a darkly stompin' rocker with moody lyrics, cool keyboard lines, nice use of dynamics and an overall potent punch. Drummer Rikki (Two Tens, Dollyrots) pounds out the beat for "She's Gone", another minor-key number with plenty of harmony vocals, fuzz guitar, and a melodic Farfisa solo. Michelle (Brainspoon) cuts a biting guitar lead in the sing-along "I Want Your Fun" and I believe she takes lead vocals for the heavy, 70's-ish, riff-rocker "Evil Wayz" before we get to the fast-paced, sexy power-pop of "I Wanna Get you Off" with its terrific vocal interplay mixed with fuzz guitar and rockin' rhythms. They close with the slow'n'sexy (as I said in my live review) "Kiss of Fire", again highlighting how the band works together to produce a complete song - no one showing off, but everyone adding just the right touches.

These ladies are definitely one of my favorite current bands - every one of them is exceptional on their instrument, the vocals are superior and the songwriting is incredibly strong. Their live shows are knock-outs, as are the women, and while the records can't quite contain the sizzling energy of their gigs (few recordings ever can), they are great in their own right, even if they are slightly low-fi. I'm not sure why a band that is so fantastically visual would refrain from using photos of themselves on their records, but I am assuming the needlepoint artwork on the 10" covers are supposed to be a contrast to their wild stage demeanor - or is meant to say "take the music on its own merits", which you should, as it is amazing, regardless of who created it. In any case, see them, buy their records and support modern high-energy garage rock'n'roll!