With Derdang Derdang, London’s Archie Bronson Outfit has nailed the sound of swampy, thick, thudding rock ‘n’ roll. If the Black Keys had three members, maybe they could compete with Archie Bronson Outfit for sheer volume and expanse of sound. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, the band’s second full-length is the juddering result of what happens when you lock three English guys in an old and possibly decaying farmhouse with just their instruments and then thrust them off to the American South to see what kind of feral voodoo claws its way into a record. This album is so dirty you can see the filth caked under its fingernails. It’s garage rock, sure, but it’s so much bigger and heavier and totally bloody-knuckled from a bar fight.
Take the opening track, “Cherry Lips.” It’s heavy, it’s dirty, it clangs. And it’s even more pulverizing when that second verse kicks in. This is only the beginning of the pummeling beats and licks that this album has in its guts. Sam Windett’s vocals are wailing at the end, answered by some crazy flute line that sounds like some sex-starved wolf. It’s all the frustration of wanting to be with your lover when she’s not there, a feeling that’s heightened because the taste of her lips is still on yours — probably because you bit hers and drew blood.
Jacquire King is a beast of a producer. The drums on “Dart for My Sweetheart” are heavy and hollow, as if they’re in a huge warehouse and all the air is getting swallowed up in the toms. “Got to Get Your Eyes” is sinister, a contusion of noise. It’s so heavy that it made me queasy. Then the psychedelic swirling of “Cuckoo” eases into the dark juggernaut of songs that round out the record with a bang bang bang. Derdang, indeed.
“Got to Get (Your Eyes)” MP3
“Dart for My Sweetheart” MP3