UPDATE: Congrats to our winners: Terry in Lexington and Beatriz in Chicago. Enjoy the signed CDs!
Enter to Win Two Signed Copies of Screws Get Loose. Details After the Review.
Set to drop March 29, Those Darlins‘ highly anticipated sophomore release, Screws Get Loose (Oh Wow Dang), finds the band stronger, louder and with a tougher edge than on their 2009 self-titled debut. This time out the guitars are fuzzier and more distorted, the rhythm section more gymnastic, and the attitude less naïve.
Those Darlins must have gotten tired of the New York Times referring to them as “the country trio from Murfreesboro” in their weekly concert listings, as well as drummer Linwood Regensberg getting the Dangerfield treatment: No respect, no respect at all. Linwood takes lead vocals on “Let U Down” sounding eerily similar to a young Mick Jagger on what could have been a lost Stones B-side.
The album opens with the title track, a new twist on the well-worn tale of the hazards of life on the road. The song is infinitely catchy, but before things get too comfortable, there’s a bent and vertiginous guitar solo at the bridge, very much like Dead Milkmen on acid. “Mystic Mind” continues the trippy throwback feel, opening with Norman Greenbaum-style sound (all fat drums and fuzzy, throaty guitar) and then shuffling along with dusty percussion and images worthy of an old Doors song.
A sense of claustrophobic dichotomy (I want you, but not like that) runs through many of the songs, especially on “Be Your Bro,” (“I just want to run and play in the dirt with you/You just want to stick it in”) and “Fatty Needs A Fix,” with its pitch-perfect line: “You just want to give me some lovin’/But I don’t want that kind of bun in the oven.” The latter is neo post-punk pop that reminded me of Adrenalin O.D.’s “Bulimic Food Fight”, but with all the bingeing and nary a purge.
“Boy” features Kelley Darlin’s gorgeous voice as she recounts the archetypal troubadour’s guy in every port narrative. The sound is so California, you can almost see her slip on a pair of Ray Bans, toss her guitar into the back seat of a bitchin’ ’67 Camaro SS convertible and steal off into the sunset down the PCH.
As with their debut, Those Darlins have again taken myriad influences and made them their own; but this time, instead of Carter Family classics, Charlie Louvin, and rockabilly, it’s ’60s psychedelic and pop, west coast post-punk and shimmery lo-fi garage rock. Labels aside, Screws Get Loose is a compelling follow-up.
ATF has two copies of the new CD signed by the band (Kelley, Jessi, Nikki and Linwood) up for grabs. Just post a comment here or drop us a line at Contests@CountryMusicPride[dot]com (that’s our sister site). Give us your best Darlins live show experience — or tell us about the song you can’t get out of your head — and why you deserve to win. Remember to include your contact info so we can notify you. We’ll choose two winners in a week or so. Good luck!