The Darlings

The Darlings EP

Written by: PP on 03/02/2009 10:40:37

Hailing from Los Angeles, Southern California, The Darlings sure do live up to what we've learned to expect from punk rock bands from around that area. Blending together the straight forward melodies of Bad Religion and the tight guitar playing of Pennywise, their debut EP is about as So-Cal punk rock as it gets. Perhaps this is why the band has already toured with seminal acts like the two aforementioned as well as acts like Guttermouth and Social Distortion, quite an impressive achievement from such a young band like the band itself admits.

But given how songs like "Captivated" are as infectious as they are straight-up punk rock, this isn't such a surprise. While originality may indeed be lacking throughout the EP (there are places where I actually thought I was listening to early 2000s Bad Religion), the band compensates for it nicely with the overall tightness of their raw guitars, giving that impression of passion which so many bands in the genre possess. While most songs on the EP are medium-speed slaps, relying mostly on clean vocal melodies than interesting guitar lines or breakneck speed, the band isn't afraid to throw on the odd vivid bass-line or some serious muscle to the guitar sound. "Cruel World" is a good example of this with its open road-groovy vibe, which should bring your thoughts straight to No Fun At All's latest record "Low Rider". "What Lies Below" on the other hand has a few melodic hardcore inspired gang vocals backing the chorus, which is among the best on the record. It is here that the band is at their most original and enjoyable, but really, all of the songs here showcase a young punk rock band that has a considerably bright future ahead of them.

Other than that, there isn't much to say about The Darlings just yet. They do sound like an exact cross between Bad Religion and Pennywise, which should really tell you how they sound without me having to blabber on for another few paragraphs about their haunting chorus melodies or the immediacy of the clean vox. If you read yourself under the fans of either band, or even a newer band like Rise Against, don't miss this seven track EP, which, albeit not amazing, is still a captivating punk rock album.


Download: What Lies Below, Captivated
For the fans of: Bad Religion, Pennywise, Rise Against
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2008

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