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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.

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<br/><p class="MsoNormal"><st1:PersonName><span >John</span></st1:PersonName><b ><span > </span></b><span >is 26<br/>and lives in </span><st1:City><st1:place><span >Los Angeles.</span></st1:place></st1:City><span > He teaches high school social<br/>studies, as he's done since graduating </span><st1:place><st1:PlaceName><span >Tulane</span></st1:PlaceName><span > </span><st1:PlaceType><span >University</span></st1:PlaceType></st1:place><span > in </span><st1:City><st1:place><span >New Orleans</span></st1:place></st1:City><span >. Through writing and editing for<br/>the arts and entertainment section of the student newspaper and deejaying for<br/>the radio station, he fell in love with indie rock.<o:p> <br/></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span >John was<br/>married in June to his beautiful wife, Marisa. She's finishing her masters degree<br/>at </span><st1:place><st1:PlaceType><span >University</span></st1:PlaceType><span > of </span><st1:PlaceName><span >Southern California</span></st1:PlaceName></st1:place><span > and has helped steep John in<br/>Pavement's back catalog and the allure of early Liz Phair records.<br/></span></p><span ><o:p> </o:p>After some<br/>misgivings about the metropolis, John loves living in L.A., for being able to<br/>find food from around the world on every block, for its improving mass-transit<br/>options and, of course, for so many concerts to see that it could drive him broke.<br/>John's an aspiring writer, but of fiction, not of screenplays.</span><span ><o:p><br/></o:p></span><span >John and<br/>Marisa have one dog, a chow mix named </span><st1:City><st1:place><span >Halle</span></st1:place></st1:City><span >; and two cats, an ocecat named<br/>Gigi and an orange tabby named Malkmus.</span><br/>

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