August 12, 2010

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Darker My Love, Alive As You Are
Dangerbird Records, Aug. 17
I think I reviewed Darker My Love’s first album and was simpatico with their rugged grit-blasted shoegaze, their similarity in almost every way (aside from possession of a decent changeup) to Warlocks. That stuff — the liberal use of oldschool reverb, dangerous-sounding heroin-junkie guitar-raunch, sexually ambivalent vocals — has been largely abandoned for AAYA, I’m guessing as a result of a newfound fetish for Yardbirds, Beatles, that kind of crap, i.e. the band should by all rights rename itself; nothing stoner here save for “18th Street,” an uppity midtempo romp in the vein of a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club radio-begging A-side. I’m jiggy with their newfound metrosexual hooks and wonkish dawn-of-LSD feel for psychedelica; my only quibbles are the usual ones for Dangerbird releases, such as the occasional lousy el-cheapo effect (here the stupid organ that dogs “Split Minute”) and the general impression that the recording studio was rank with booger-nosed poseur virgins.There are some melodic highlights, though, and overall, fans who love anything that sounds like Dandy Warhols on a George Harrison tip will be enthralled. B —Eric W. Saeger