This is a man’s world – if you consider the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown, to be a viable source. Like they say, to each their own.
Now, I’m not here to talk about feminist or male chauvinist, women’s rights or male domination; opening that can of worms is something I’d like to avoid and simply stick to a subject I’m somewhat knowledgeable about – music.
However, the reason I decided to use Mr. Brown’s lyrics as an introduction to this review is quite simple – sex rules in today’s society. But, there’s still one place it holds little value. That place being the wide world of music.
I was in Nashville. Tenn., this past weekend working on some stuff for Fishbowl and hangin’ out with two of my goody buddies, one of which is a current resident in this delightful town. Being in this town was like being a junkie around a crack house. I was lookin’ for a fix and found a dealer who fed my addiction like Paula Dean would a ravenous sumo wrestler.
It was that damn good.
Grimey’s, historic and legendary home of new and preloved music, has a selection of music that’s unfathomable, and knowledgeable service to boot. If I had a million bucks, I would have spent it all. Instead, I spent two hours browsing through the store, listening to countless samples on vinyl and CD, and spending an undisclosed amount of cash.
My wallet still feels like Mike Tyson worked it out, but it was worth it.
While checking out, I asked the cat behind the counter if he would recommend a local band. He handed me three CDs. Out of the choices, the one I thought would most likely find its way back into a sea of discs instead found its way into my to-go bag.
I’m sure glad it did. So, a special thanks to the folks at Grimey’s from Fishbowl.
Now, onto the review.
Call ‘em a girl band, call ‘em a girl band plus one dude, call ‘em whatever you want as long as the word “badass” precedes whatever superficial label you tag this band with. Hailing from none other than Nash Vegas, Murfreesboro to be more accurate, is none other than Those Darlins.
Comprised of three females, Nikki, Jessi and Kelley Darlin (not related) and one male, Linwood Regensburg, this band has been infiltrating the masses with a sound that’s pleasing to the ears in a way only a darlin’ is capable of.
Being able to listen to an entire album continuously, without skipping tracks, is a rarity these days. Refreshingly, you’ll find that isn’t the case here.
Coming out of the gate, the first track “Screws Get Loose” sets the tone for the album; an assortment of upbeat, Punk-Rock meets Country Western tunes. It felt as though my ears had ingested a large dose of cocaine and whiskey, giving them a comfortable and relaxed, uneasy and energetic ride, which was thoroughly enjoyed.
The lyrics throughout the album, including the first track, were on-point. A fair share were sexually charged, but written in a seemingly classy way, compared to the in-your-face style that seems to be popular today. A prime example being the chorus for the second track, “Be Your Bro,” which goes, “I just wanna, I just wanna be your brother, you just wanna be my boyfriend. I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you, you just wanna stick it in.”
Couldn’t help but smile while listening to this one. I have plenty of “friends” who’ve been in that kind of situation before. Bro’s.
Picking a highlight track from this album was about as easy as pickin’ a needle from a haystack. Naturally, when faced with this predicament, I went with the one I vibed with the best, that song being “Tina Said.” However, there really isn’t a bad song on the album. The superb track arrangement also made choosing difficult. It’s nice when a track list isn’t predictable.
The sleeper track, an unexpected treat, was “Mystic Mind.“
At first I was a little unsure about this one. It starts out sounding like a demonic, slow paced version of Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” but comes into its own after about 10 seconds. Still, it’s a pretty trippy track, especially with the poetic lyrics. “Suckin’ on a cosmic egg. Open up my third eye.” Couldn’t help picturing that pyramid with the eye above it and some faceless eskimo messin’ with a Ouija (weegie) Board under a lunar eclipse. Real heady.
Looking back on the album, there may be some question as to why it wasn’t awarded a solid 10. The explanation can be attributed to the echo effects on some vocal tracks, mainly the “Hives.” The effect seemed to drown out the vocals a bit to much, making it hard to hear and understand the lyrics.
Obviously, the good outweighs the bad by a landslide. In fact, I don’t even think the vocals are that big of a deal. I was probably just being picky and trying to be critic, so I’m going to give these Darlins a 10 now, but still stick to be my guns for the sake of not giving away a perfect 10 on the scoreboard just yet.
For those who say, “I don’t like chick bands,” get a life. And while you’re at it, don’t preface a band with a sex. Give ‘em the respect of being simply a band, just like you would any other group with testicles.
Can’t wait to hear more from this band, and look forward to getting some more suggestions from the bomb staff of Grimey’s.