Monday, August 23, 2010
Darlingside - EP 1
Northampton, Massachusetts baroque rockers Darlingside turn the rock n roll paradigm on its ear on their debut EP, EP 1. Violin, cello, four-part vocal harmonies, break beats and a highly inventive set of ears for both melody and harmony keep listeners on their toes as Darlingside spins musical tales a spider couldn't unwind.
Darlingside opens with "Good Man", wrapped in harmonies the Eagles and Oak Ridge Boys with approve of while delivering on a current Americana sound. Both lead and harmony vocals are tremendous; with vocal triads blending with top-notch musicianship for a signature sound you won't soon forget. "Surround" sticks to the same formula, but is catchy enough to snag the ears of Programming directors for country and pop radio stations are over the dial. Vocalist Dave Senft gets to show off his pipes in the near-acapella chorus of "Malea". It's a stark and memorable tune with dark instrumental bridges done up in strings. Darlingside shows off its mellow aspect with the folk/pop number "The Catbird Seat" before driving into "All That Wrong", an angry song of heartbreak. "All That Wrong" starts out as a reserved contemplation but explodes into an angry exposition for the chorus, exclaiming it all with a brilliant and unsettled guitar solo. Darlingside closes with the whimsical free association of "In The Morning" a jumbled lyrical exercise that has an economical pop beauty you simply can't ignore.
Perhaps the only downfall of Darlingside's EP 1 is the fact that its only 6 songs long. Darlingside will leave you wanting more. Dave Senft has the sort of voice you find excuses to listen to, and the musical choices that Darlingside make on EP 1 are familiar enough to be comfortable, but daring enough to be fresh. EP 1 is a great start.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Darlingside at http://www.darlingside.com/ or www.myspace.com/darlingside. EP 1 is available from Amazon.com as a CD and Download. EP 1is also available from iTunes.