Darker My Love’s 2 is an ink-bloomed valentine to the bloodied, barbed-wire kissed chain of bands (puns intended) that stretches from the Reid brothers’ taut fuzz-pop to Kevin Shields’ sine-drone majestics to the album that the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s first LP hinted at and their subsequent discs brutally, repetitively squelched. Cohesive where their first album was amorphous, 2 roots itself firmly in the shoegaze-revival genre without drowning in the tarpit of that scene’s trappings. Despite a band name that Rorschachs imagery of eyeliner’d dandies with Scissorhands hair setting their diary entries to morosely anemic goth-schlock pop, this is an album that textures its gritty, nicotine-sweat rockers with coruscating waves of lustrous, even gorgeous, popshimmer guitar grooves and melodies.
It’s a surprisingly balanced LP, one in which the brutal crush of the slash-riffed hooks and leg-slapped backbeat of “Northern Soul” share space with the high-end vocal swoons and cough-syrupy Beach Boys drones of “Even in Your Lightest Day” or “All the Hurry and Wait.” And, unlike some other nu-gazers, they fall closer in line with a band like the Silversun Pickups, in which their influences prism into waves of new sounds rather than wind-tunneled echoes of whatever vinyl spirals were spinning in their apartments before the drive to the studio.
More so than their debut, Darker My Love’s 2 succeeds in filtering their feedback-riddled family tree into a work that not only stands on its own but also that casts a large and branch-gnarled shadow from which their fellow bands will have to sound twice as good in order to escape.
What you read is what you get with the Los Angeles-based band Darker My Love. Think the band's name must mean that it plays gloomy, feedback-laden rock? You're correct. Think the album name 2 means this is Darker My Love's sophomore set? Right again. You should go on Jeopardy. The band's self-titled debut was released in 2006. I sense a Zeppelin homage. Darker My Love actually isn't all dark and dreary here. Some snippets of shimmery pop shine through, which might have been pushed to the forefront by producer Dave Cooley, who has worked with fellow Angeleno outfit Silversun Pickups.
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