Thursday, August 29, 2013

EP Review :: The Darlingtons - Who Says There's No Beach In Doncaster?

The Darlingtons

Who Says There's No Beach In Doncaster?

September 16 2013 (Self released)


Words: Dave Beech

As an indie band in 2013, there's a very real risk that you can come off sounding like one of the many hundreds if not thousands of bands already gracing the pages and blogs of professional and amateur music press alike. Conversely, sound too different, too left-field, and you run the risk of alienating your target audience by not appealing to their exact tastes. Thankfully, while Taunton's The Darlingtons are very much making the kind of music you're already familiar with, they do it with such confidence, such style, that it really doesn't matter that you've heard it before because the chances are you haven't heard it done this well.

Like many indie bands before them, The Darlingtons are writing about their immediate life and while the lows far out weight the highs (after all what good music was made from positive experiences?) it acts as a form of catharsis, making one's troubles not so much melt away, but all the more bearable knowing that you're not alone. Similarly, their new six-track live EP isn't always peaches and cream but it does leave the listener coming away feeling somewhat refreshed and reaffirmed.

Beginning with the traditional applause/feedback intro, as seems customary for live performances, the record launches quickly in to 'Bats', a track that seems to effortlessly epitomise what it is that The Darlingtons are about: emphatic and relatable indie anthems with an air of grandiose. It's the perfect opener to any set and as such, the perfect way to kick off an EP.

Further tracks such as 'Everything' and 'Watch Yourself' provide a silver lining to the record's rain clouds, allowing the darkness set out by other tracks to relent somewhat and prove that everything isn't as bad as one thinks. It's a fantastic way to break up their set, giving audience, and indeed listeners, a brief respite from the anthemic pessimism outlined on tracks such as 'Don't Give Me Hope'.

There's a reason why The Darlingtons are making such headway within the unsigned scene at the moment; honest, relatable and down-to-earth, this is what indie music should be. Forget the sugary and optimistic synth-pop that festered over this summer's festival circuit, when the Winter Blues sets in, bands like The Darlingtons are sure to soundtrack it perfectly.

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