Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Album Review: Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose

You've gotta love the devil-may-care-cuz-I-sure-don't sass of Tennessee ladies (now with token gent!) Those Darlins. They've already unleashed a self-titled record full of spirited attitude, and now they're back with Screws Get Loose. And for that, we should all be thankful. Leaving some of their twang behind, the lady-led Darlins exhibit some musical growth, and if maturity sounds too grownup, well, that's just how it is. But don't worry. They might sound a bit more polished, but happily the irrepressible essence of the Darlins is present and accounted for.

Opening track, the titular "Screws Get Loose," rocks an appealingly gritty sound not unlike that of those party grrrls The Runaways. "Be Your Bro" is pure Darlins, lyrics verging on crass ("I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you/you just wanna stick it in"), yet retaining that playful vibe that makes Those Darlins songs so dang charming. That song's been repeated in my headphones many a time, let me just tell y'all. "Let U Down" shows off a whole new side to the band, what with dude lead vocals and a more retro rock sound. Some nice guitar bits to sink your teeth in, too, for those of you that appreciate that.

I'm pretty much addicted to the infectiousness that is "Hives," a nice little nod to bands like The Cars with that extra kicky, super fast drumming. Perhaps Those Darlins attempt to channel my beloved Black Angels with the hazy psych fog that crawls over "Mystic Mind." But even that song has to be taken with a grain of salt, what with lyrics like "Fortune cookie ate my zodiac." And the song "Boy," my darlins, is too cute to not instantly adore. Sonically, it hearkens back to bubblegum pop, sunshiney and 60s and sweet as can be.

Screws Get Loose
is full of all sorts of goodies to get your blood pumping, your heels kicked up, and your beau in the mood. Which, pretty much, is what a good record ought to do. I've got to hand it to 'em, those ladies (and new male blood) did something special once again. Viva Those Darlins!

mp3: Mystic Mind (Those Darlins from Screws Get Loose) (thanks to Rollo & Grady)

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