Spectacle: Oh My Darlin
If there is one thing that no one can ignore, it is nudity. Knowingly, Those Darlins stripped down for the cover of their third album and the music video that followed it.
Shock appeal is nothing new to Those Darlins, whose sophomore album featured a woman who was, depending on the interpretation, either indulging in a bump of cocaine or forcefully picking her nose. Although many people found issue with the band members shedding their clothes, both the male and female members clumped themselves together to form a solid mass of semi-androgynous human flesh that no one could ignore.
The Nashville natives began their musical career with three female members who praised Patsy Cline and echoed the Dum Dum Girls. They picked up Linwood Regensburg as their drummer for the self-titled first album that was heavily influenced by their country roots, but also promoted the rockabilly way of life. Jessi, Nikki, and Kelley bat their eyelashes while describing drunkenly eating an entire rotten chicken at one point and in another they embody the wholesome Carter Family.
Their sophomore album, Screws Get Loose, moseyed away from a down home country feel and began to explore an eerie, psychedelic air. Their piercing cry illustrated the degradation of body, money, and mind and acted as a stepping-stone for the progression of the band’s sound.
Their latest album, Blur the Line, received more press than their earlier albums, thus proving that their latest sound is their most dynamic yet. Though Kelley Darlin stepped away before the creation of this latest album, it feels like a more mature and complete musical compilation. Lyrically there is a southern eloquence that has been long lost in the world of contemporary country artists. Musically they have evolved far beyond their initial ukulele riffs. Their guitars snarl and growl as emphatically as the singers themselves. After years they are all still Darlins, covered in pickup truck dirt and tripping on acid.
This past weekend the band headlined two LA/OC shows to crowds of faithful and newly converted followers. Nikki stared hauntingly into camera lenses and bright lights, only loosing her stare to jump into the crowd or to reach for a shot poised nearby. Jessi pursed her lips and screamed out her eyes in an animalistic passion only breaking focus for a slight smile when the crowd erupted in rowdy hysteria towards the end of the evening.
If this progression is any sign of where they are headed, Those Darlins will reach great heights and have too much fun doing it.