Released on 3 August 2009 on Dangerbird
Inexplicably finding its way into UK shops after nearly a year on the shelves in the USA and three years after their homeland debut, the imaginatively-titled sophomore album `2` from Los Angeles psychedelicniks Darker My Love is a truly mouth-watering affair for anyone with a passing interest in British, yes British, alternative rock from two decades past. In fact, it`s this era which links the band to a UK audience scratching their heads and wondering where they`ve seen them before, as singer / guitarist Tim Presley and Rob Barbato spent time in The Fall during the `Reformation Post TLC` period.
And yet, it could all have been so much more unremarkable. Opening track `Northern Soul`, as hackneyed a title you may see nestling mid way through an Oasis album, lives up to its mediocrity in spectacular fashion by sounding like a cross between Kasabian and long-forgotten, famous-by-association glam rockers Heavy Stereo. What`s meant as a rabble-rousing call-to-arms may very well cause many to dispense with the album after one track and, with what follows, that would be a disaster for all involved.
Happily there`s immediate, huge improvement with the brilliance of `Blue Days` finding Navajo warshouts battle with wah wah guitar lines, all held together with a steady electronic bassline,. Immediately afterwards is `Two Ways Out`, a track Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol really should be force-fed thrice daily to show them how to add substance, soul and substantiality to their boring Belfast blueprint. Similarly, Doves may very well cock an ear at `Pale Sun` to recall exactly how they used to write pounding gems before the disappointing `Kingdom of Rust` - again awash beautifully in buckets of wah wah.
Best of all though is the way the excellent psychedelic fancy `Even in our Lightest Day` reaches uncharacteristically rabid shoegaze romp `Waves` by way of instrumental cosmic journey `All the Hurry and Wait`. This mid-album triple bill of tracks work off each other spectacularly.
`2` is a real treat for indie fans of a certain vintage. At times like a more commercially-minded Spacemen 3, at others espousing the melodic, fuzzy edifications of Ride or My Bloody Valentine, Darker My Love do, however, permit enough of their own original songwriting to pervade the constituent tracks, resulting in a rewarding experience for any fan of guitar music, regardless of their heritage.
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