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Music Picks

Will Darker My Love Save Rock 'n' Roll?

Its work is cut out.

By Thom Wong 2 Oct 2008 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong is a drone in Her Majesty's Service. He writes regularly about music for The Tyee, and can be found ruminating about the state of menswear at The Sunday Best.

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Rocking out... of time?

You know music is in a strange place when Kid Rock can declare himself the Rock 'n' Roll Jesus, sent by god himself to save our rocking out souls. These days, rock 'n' roll is starting to resemble the princess in Super Mario, due to the amount of saving it needs. It seems in every decade, someone has to rescue music's sorry arse from certain death. Apathy? Ticketmaster? Global warming? If rock is this fragile, maybe it isn't worth the trouble.

And now the newest plight: while Darker My Love's record label doesn't compare them to the Big J, it does paint a fairly bleak picture of rock's current condition:

Let's not fuck about here. It's 2008. Some people say the world is coming to a close. The sun is getting hotter. Ice isn't what it used to be. Irony is dead, and spring no longer exists. Everyone everywhere is sick and tired of the rock-and-roll ruse. And, so, an authentic rock-and-roll outfit has its work cut out.

Does Darker My Love save rock? I have no idea. And I don't know how authentic they are either (does this simply mean they don't have a guy working a laptop?), but they do bring a healthy jolt of guitar and rolling drums to the mix. Less prone to nonsense than the impossible-to-Google The Music, they manage to sound exactly like The Stone Roses without being old and derivative.

Their most played song on MySpace is "Summer is Here," a huge arena-type anthem that doesn't so much play as swirl. Fuzzed-out guitar rotates around the always-central drumbeat, with the bass desperately trying to keep up. If you miss bands that spend all their time staring at the tops of their shoes, this is your rallying cry.

"Talking Words" is, I suppose, a love song, but it sounds exactly like all their other songs, and for once this isn't a bad thing. This is music to paint houses to, or cook a killer meal to, or to which you can run the last few blocks to the post office. This is "doing" music.

Take "Northern Soul" -- it begins oh so briefly with a quiet guitar before the swirling begins, practically sucking you off your couch and out into the streets. I often can't understand a thing lead singer Tim Presley is saying, sounding as he does like Liam Gallagher through a crappy megaphone, but I'm guessing that's not the point. The point, as I see it, is to make as much pretty noise as possible, and in that Darker My Love succeed in spades.

Don't let the fact their name sounds like a My Chemical Romance b-side deter you. Darker My Love is worth checking out – watch them perform in the Morning Becomes Eclectic studio.

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