Darlings: WARMA

Tue Nov 16 2010
A lot of folks will tell you that Pavement’s 90s heyday has never been improved upon, in terms of rock music.  Perhaps that’s why Darlings have modeled their sound so closely on the Pavement lo-fi ethos (and named themselves after the presumed critical reaction?).  The only problem is that whole originality thing.  Oh, and the inept musicianship and bad lyrics.

Even a halfway decent punk band has a drummer that can keep the beat, and this ain’t even punk rock.  A Pavement reunion doesn’t justify this kind of pointless slackerism.  The imitators sucked in the 90s and they suck now.  From apathetic enunciation (try counting the “yer”s and “prolly”s) to unfinished melodies (“Born Heavy”) and sloppy, cringeworthy drumming throughout, the mystery is who called in what favor to get this group a record deal.

I’ll give ‘em one thing: the guitar isn’t awful, actually a pleasure to listen to some of the time, even though the riffs are bargain-label.  And Maura Lynch's backing vocals are spot on as well.  And there’s the last tune on the EP, “Big Girl”, a really solid pop punk nugget that actually makes you feel something.  But good luck avoiding the FF button before then.
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Cal Roach

Cal Roach is a word whore currently being pimped sporadically by Milwaukee Record and the Journal Sentinel, and giving it away for nothing right here at you-phoria.com. He also co-hosts the Local/Live program on 91.7 WMSE FM every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and spouts nonsense on twitter as @roachcraft.

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