Review: The Darlingtons – Decades Dance

The main striking feature of this band’s latest LP (beside an alliterated album title, and deriving their name from somewhere in the northeast) is their forge between darkly sensual, brooding melodies and bittersweet folk pop which signifies them as a hybrid sound alternating between The Doors, Doves and Death Cab For Cutie. This relatively young band seem to be gaining a burgeoning reputation at the moment and with the addition of this album’s imminent release and a few festival slots over the coming summer months, perhaps The Darlingtons could be recognised as one of indie rock’s most newly-discovered and harnessed gems.

Leading from the opening single Bats, pretty much holding patterns for the entire 10 songs through the album, from here the band traverse, strumming and clattering, their way through the rest of it, creating a sound that’s consistent and solid. The song Bats itself isn’t all that great- the drumming and guitar riffs demonstrating nothing new- although a further point through the band do plumb depths and soar to heights, accomplished through an ethereal, palpable wall of sound.

The bottom line is that Decades Dance is a reasonable body of work from a band that are more or less unheard-of at this point, and the uniformity of the album’s style was an incisive move for commercial reasons and other. The Darlingtons certainly express eagerness and maybe a little sparkle in their sound, although the use of instruments and musical arrangements in Decades Dance isn’t the most imaginative, meaning the album’s effect falls somewhat short of sonic. Nonetheless, it’s a great early effort and should stand them in good stead for building greater success. The Darlingtons are eminently an ambitious and aspiring young band and have got life left in them yet.

Words: William Ibbott