Dark Romantics | Some Midnight Kissin’ (Lujo)

cd_dark-romanticsWoozy, trashy, sexy, secretive…this band makes late-night heartbreak and alcohol-fueled mistakes sound alluring.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Romantics are the aural equivalent of taking a vodka-induced crawl across the glitter-strewn floor of a blue collar town's single secret, invitation-only club. The music is, indeed, both dark and romantic, with dizzying melodies and swoon-inducing wordplay. Woozy, trashy, sexy, secretive…this band makes late-night heartbreak and alcohol-fueled mistakes sound alluring.

Songs like the dizzying "Another Song for Another Night" and the swaggering "This Is the Sound" make it clear that this Lakeland, Fla.–based quintet's aspirations reach far beyond those of your typical scruffy bar band. "Of Loving Me" isn't just hook-filled; its melodies will twist and twine into a stranglehold around your brain, hold it captive, and force you to hum it at inopportune times. "Where Do We Go From Here?" evokes film nourish intrigues and '60s bohemian cool, while lightheaded guitar and eerie organ theatrics make "Hey Love" another standout track. Every song on Some Midnight Kissin' is strong, in fact: no filler here.

Although every band member performs with admirable skill and imagination, it is vocalist Eric Collins who really gives the Dark Romantics such magnetism. His confessional, soaring vocals often make him sound similar to the Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, or perhaps a less melodramatic Jeff Buckley. "The bluest days and the reddest nights/ Is the way she moves/ The way she consumes me," he sings on "She's a Fire," yearning and aloof and charismatic as hell all at once.

Starflyer 59's Jason Martin, himself no stranger to musical pathos and passion, produced Some Midnight Kissin', and he deserves kudos for helping this young band achieve such an impressive, expressive debut. A | Katherine Yeske-Taylor

RIYL: Starflyer 59, The Killers, Pedro the Lion

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