Darker My Love | Alive As You Are (Dangerbird)

One may look at the hardcore beginnings of frontman Tim Presley, former guitarist for The Nerve Agents (then referred to as Timmy Stardust), and think “Well…that figures.”

 
While on sabbatical from their heavier, fuzzier drone of previous releases, Darker My Love has managed to retain the same semblance of the 1960s that has been prevalent in much of their neo-psychedelic styling to date. In order to do so they’ve invoked the mid- to late-career Beatles in their songwriting ability for 11 new tracks on Alive As You Are.
Though Beatles-based pop is certainly nothing new, and hasn’t been for the past 40 years, cornerstones of rock music admittedly become cornerstones for a reason, and there are variations in quality within any subgenre under the sun. Darker My Love belong at the high end of that spectrum then, bringing a reincarnation upon themselves as a band that has evolved into something they themselves may not have recognized a handful of years previous.
One may look at the hardcore beginnings of frontman Tim Presley, former guitarist for The Nerve Agents (then referred to as Timmy Stardust), and think “Well…that figures.” It’s certainly not uncommon for a hardcore punk name of yesteryear to settle down, become less of an upstart and more of an introspective, and eventually begin releasing music in a vein that’s not necessarily less energetic but channels that energy in a different form. One may assume that bands who do so, who begin with a raw, almost serrated fuzz in their recipe for music and then turn out more harmonized and nuanced sounds,are merely following a prescription for the way musical evolution in individual artist is “supposed to happen.” One may assume that, and in a lot of cases, one would be right.
Listening to the bold and bare honesty of tracks like “New America,” the frustration in “Trail the Line,” or the sentimental futility in “Cry on Me Woman,” it’s obvious these songs were written by a group of musicians who weren’t following a mold, as much as they were creating pieces of art in a way that felt correct to them. They do not belong in the category of artists who have been cowed by their own capricious beginnings and go out to pasture to write love songs for the miscellaneous bin at the record store. In other words, they’ve betrayed nothing of their inceptions as artists in that they are doing what they’ve always done: writing good music that speaks honestly of them and the way they perceive love, life, and the world around them. A |Jason Neubauer
RIYL: The Apples in Stereo, The Weather Prophets, The Lime Spiders

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