11 Tracks; CD, LP
Article by: Sean McNamara
Noisy psych-pop band finds their roots on third album.
It seems like psych-pop is making a comeback, as a handful of great albums have been made in the last year (see The Coral, The Black Angels, Tame Impala, and how could we forget MGMT). One of these bands who really caught my attention was the California-based Darker My Love, who demanded repeat plays on my iPod with their 2008 release 2. It contained lots of Verve-esque shoegaze-type guitar effects, three-part vocal harmonies, and huge choruses.
This all leads to my first listen of Alive As You Are. The soaring atmospheric guitars are gone, in exchange for softer, folk-inspired layered guitars, and the vocal melodies are brought to the forefront. It took two listens to get it, but this is a well-honed group of songs by a band trying to prove they have more in their arsenal than a couple of effects pedals.
"Split Minute" flows effortlessly, as the rolling guitars and tight rhythm combine wonderfully, and "18th Street Shuffle" contains an infectious, rumbling baseline that is perfectly complimented by tight guitar riffs and a laid back vocal. The bouncy "New America" and driving "Trail The Line" all combine to highlight a very enjoyable 35 minute long album that begs you to hit the repeat button.