Album Review

Darwin Deez

Darwin Deez

by Darwin Deez


Inertia
5 / 10
16/06/2010

Reviewed by Gareth Meade


Being underwhelmed by a band’s output is bad enough, but it’s somehow worse when you detect bright moments, only to see them subsequently drowned in mediocrity. That’s basically the case with Darwin Deez; an album ostensibly written, performed, produced, arranged, engineered and mixed by a man of the same name.

Sounding incredibly polished, Darwin Deez also manages to imitate the effect of a bedroom recording thanks to the clicky drum track, lackluster guitar layers, unobtrusive keys and significant lack of any other elements. On the initial few songs it adds a charm to the album; the rhythm is even a little alluring and Deez’s voice has a resonating familiarity about it that greets you warmly, like an old friend might. It takes a moment, but barely more than 15 seconds into ‘Constellations’ you’ll pick up on The Strokes-isms, or more specifically Albert Hammond Jr’s solo output. The similarity really is uncanny, but far from offensive enough to feel like imitation.

Third song ‘The City’ is the premature pinnacle of the album where things get a bit dirtier and looser. Deez tries something different with his guitar and aims the track in the direction of an incredibly stripped down Passion Pit song. But once it’s done and dusted the album sits back lazily and hopes you won’t notice how similar each of the ensuing songs are to one another.

As you pass through ‘The Suicide Song’, ‘Up In The Clouds’, ‘Bed Space’ and ‘The Bomb Song’, Deez’s vocals actually begin to grate and it gets harder to persist. Even the summery ‘Radar Detector’ can’t bring the album back from the edge. It could be solved by something as simple as a change in guitar sound, but sadly it just doesn’t come. It could have also been solved by releasing the better songs on the album as an EP and then working harder on memorable material for an LP. But as neither of these things happened, we’re just left with an okay document with too few moments that could have made it better.




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