by Richard Archer
The Darts (US) – The Darts (LP)
A compilation of previously released EPs, this self-titled album is the first full-length offering from the US garage rock band The Darts.
‘Running Through Your Lies’ kicks things off with a bass guitar (courtesy of Christina Nunez) that sounds like a motorbike engine, leading a tale of deceit snarled by Nicole Laurenne over a quiet verse and loud chorus dynamics in a way that channels the auditory drama of performers like Etta James with lyrics to match:
“crooked words untrue/losing faith in you/Suspicion in your eyes”
The group dynamic is set-up from here and remains constant across the 13 tracks – an unyielding rhythm section bolstered by guitar and a sprightly organ sound that provides the top-end. This doesn’t need to change because there’s enough invention in the songs to keep it interesting – the band do chipper Romantics-style power-pop on ‘Take What I Need’, get slow and brooding on ‘You Got Me’, and go a bit psych on ‘Evil Wayz’ (think Electric Prunes).
It’s a compilation and has to be listened to and enjoyed as such. In the spirit of garage rock there’s a kind of ‘hit-and-run’ quality to this that is very, very pleasing and this will no doubt appeal to fans of London garage-rockers and LOUD WOMEN faves DOLLS.