Both visually and musically, Draw It in the Dark is a mixed affair. The idea is solid: Package a new seven-inch with a DVD of 10 videos, directed by various artists in and outside the band. For the most part, the variety of visuals makes this a compelling release. But without the short films, the lack of variety in the music would have made this a more difficult project to hang with all the way through.
Without a doubt, the highlights of the films include “Double-Hearted Clown” by Brittany Gravely, with its delicate drawings of animals and bright colors, and Jonathan Fendler’s “Fear of Flying,” an animated gem full of emotion and humor, set on a lonely stretch of Middle Eastern desert. Also worth mentioning are Jeanne Simmy’s “Morning Star” and Catherine Ross’s “Twin Sisters,” which features a funny, stop-motion tape-recorder gag that doesn’t get old. The best videos done by the band themselves are “Minors” and “Stains.”
The music is more problematic. Flying tend to slant toward the childlike and nerdy in their music, which, like Danielson, for example, can be endearing and fun or annoying and forced, depending on your taste. This album will make you wrestle with which side you’re on.