Sunday, April 10, 2011

Those Darlins

Screws Get Loose

Every now and again there’s a song so feakin’ catchy and brattish and wrong that you can’t stop listening to it in spite of yourself. The title track from Those Darlins’ second record Screws Get Loose is one of these numbers. A wobbly three-chord jangle sets the scene for some vocals so skewed in terms of tonelessness and (lack of) lyrical coherence that you can’t help but fall in love from the first listen. Can’t blame me for what I choose/Screws get loose. Can’t change me after all the abuse/Screws get loose. Can’t blame me for who I use/Screws get loose... genius.
If you had the opportunity to catch them at their recent Meredith or associated shows, chances are you would’ve fallen in love with them already as, undoubtedly, the Darlin sisters Jessi, Nikki and Kelley are the hottest Tennessee spunks in rock’n’roll today. And they fuckin’ know how to bring it. The only thing that sucked about their Meredith slot was, in a stroke of programming moronicism, the festival had them playing virtually last thing on the Sunday while most punters were licking their wounds and stuffing their soiled camp gear into busted bags.
While Screws Get Loose fails to bring the wild abandon of a Those Darlins live show, it acts as a fair taster and doubles as a great driving record. There’s enough variation of tempo from number to number—from $’s warped shadowy school-yard taunt-i-ness to Fatty Needs A Fix’s Ramones-like bounce. The obvious comparison here is with Atlanta’s Black Lips, and you’d have to say at this stage the boys have the edge. But, damn it, if Those Darlins are capable of the song-writing brilliance of the title track here, who knows what infectious delights they’ll bring us in the future.

Samson McDougall

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