Monday, May 22, 2006
Once upon a time, there lived a group of revelers who made their homes along the sparkling landscape of the California coast. Amidst the glitter of the ocean and the sun-lit haze of the morning, they began to make music together, drenching their guitars in blissed-out fuzz, their drums pulsing and crashing like waves, and stretching echoing harmonies sky-high. And with each distorted squeal of feedback, with each note drifting upward and heavenward, gleaming in the shards of California sunlight, as if it were meant for divine intervention: Darker My Love was born.
Tim Presley : guitar, vocals
Rob Barbato : bass, vocals
Jared Everett : guitar
Andy Granelli : drums
Together, they create some of the most beautifully explosive, shimmering guitar rock to ever come from beside the Pacific Ocean.
Initially, Darker My Love was a side project, started five years ago by Andy and Tim, who met one fateful day in high school and who have been a big part of each others' lives ever since. Both were playing in other bands (The Distillers and Nerve Agents, respectively), and started Darker My Love as a side project with their new friends Jared(formerly of the band Lyres) and Rob, who had moved to Los Angeles after meeting at college in Boston. Eventually, Andy left to play with The Distillers fulltime, and Darker My Love marinated for a few years, using another drummer when they had to play shows. Finally, however, the stars lined up and the time was now: they recorded an EP and finished their self-titled album in the course of a year. As they began to play around Los Angeles and San Francisco on a more constant basis, opening for bands like The Kills, The Warlocks and Icarus Line, their name became synonymous with a plethora of overwhelmingly positive adjectives, such as "amazing," "awe-inducing," and "heart-stoppingly great."
Their self-titled debut upholds the reputation their live show has garnered them. Taking a cue from the greats – My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground –and some influence from their peers – The Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Darker My Love's extraordinary debut establishes them as a vital component in the psychrock scene. "We recorded it with this guy Manny, who has a band called Distortion Felix and cruises around Silverlake.," Andy explains. "We had met him seven years ago in San Francisco, and he was taught everything he knew by Steve Albini." And so, the band retreated to his studio in Eagle Rock to churn out the twelve songs they had written almost instantly upon Andy's return to the band. Album opener (the appropriately titled) "Opening" slinks through your stereo with an iridescent lead guitar, setting the stage for the manic maraca and single note battle cry that opens "What's a Man's Paris," a song bursting at the seams with thick, droning chords and jagged edges of wild feedback. Elsewhere, first single "Summer is Here" opens with a riff that is pure Iggy and the Stooges, "Claws and Paws" turns "Some Velvet Morning" on its head, infusing its lead melody with a damn-near Sabbath-esque guitar onslaught, while "I Feel Fine" is anchored by a Stereolab organ woozy enough to knock you right off your feet. And like any good band, by the last fading note, Darker My Love leaves you wanting much, much more.