Album: Lights That Last Forever
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Darling’s indie rock isn’t the best I’ve heard, Jeff Schneider’s vocals are average at best and their songwriting isn’t too puzzling.
Yet what’s clear after listening to Darling’s debut LP, Lights That Last Forever, is that the trio of boys have a ton of character.
On the whole, when I think about Lights That Last Forever, I think of all the ways that Darling tried something.
I like what they do here in extending the jam in tunes like “Heart Attack” and “Been Sold.” I love the big bass sound in “Move In Move On.” And “Bad Dream” has a nice tonal shift — from an uppity pace to something way more sluggish — about midway through. That last part, actually, is peppered with “Ooo Ooo Ooos” not unlike the ones we know in the Pixies‘ “Where Is My Mind?”
The Darling men experiment in their new record, and I really commend them for doing things beyond what’s expected of an electric guitar, bass and drums.
Lead out track “Gathered” has a horn section of some kind and some jingles, too. “Bad Dream” makes use of what sounds like a xylophone and a little tambourine. And “Heart Attack,” which features solid guitar plucking from Schneider and an excellent walking bass (and solo!) from Nick Voss, reminded me — perhaps my best compliment — of vintage Modest Mouse. It’s a great track.
As for the album, most everything here pertains to a shitty breakup, the ensuing grieving and irrational hate period and — particularly in “Gathered” — the part about moving on.
“Sleeptalking” does a little of this, too, with lines like:
Closing the door on what came before
Sleeptalking your way to a better day
Darling has been around in some form since 2003 and released two EPs before their first full-length. No, I’m not familiar with what the band did prior to Lights That Last Forever — nor what they even sounded like — but I’m willing to bet any pursuits in the new record are based on those years of experience Jeff has been fleshing out these past seven years. (The other two members of the trio joined Darling in ’05 and ’06, respectively).
- Darling, based in Chicago, is Jeff Schneider (guitar/vocals), Nick Voss (bass/accordion/vocals) and Don Ogilvie (drums).
- Lights That Last Forever is available in vinyl+mp3 ($15), CD ($10) or mp3 ($10) on Cardboard Sangria.
- Darling will rock The Hideout on September 16 with Rachele Eve (Chicago) and Tin Tin Can (also Chicago). Tickets are $8.