Release Date: Mar 29, 2011
Record label: Oh Wow Dang
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock
On their 2009 debut, these Southern girls cooked up catchy cowpunk tunes about drunken misbehavior. Having roped in a male band member, they stumble toward shitfaced garage punk on their second album. The road leaves them wasted and bummed, money slips away, they go insane on a plane and opt for food over sex. "Be Your Bro" battles a buddy's lustful urges; "Mystic Mind" rattles its acid-washed chains like the 13th Floor Elevators; "Boy" tallies groupie dudes at assorted tour stops á la guy bands ever since time began.
On their second album Screws Get Loose, Those Darlins toss aside the raucous mix of folk, country, and cowpunk of their first album in favor of a garage-punk attack that sounds way more Detroit or Brooklyn than Tennessee. Screws Get Loose is a near perfect mashup of ramshackle rockabilly, snarling garage rock, tough girl group sounds, and country swagger that gets better with each play. The three girls and one fella in the band made the right choice when they adopted their new sound; it totally kicks the ass of the old one.
Murfreesboro’s finest sweep out the garage… Whether you thought they were a quirky-obnoxious novelty act or a gang of infinitely charming, boots-are-made-for-rockin’ Americana party girls, forget your initial impression of Those Darlins. Because, over the last few years, the band has become the spirit of rock ’n’ roll incarnate — a slightly older, wiser, modern-day Southern-garage version of The Runaways. “Why should the boys have all the fun?” their mere presence seems to shout.
Being named Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast’s new favourite band – and not being a sack of kittens mewling the best of Dinosaur Jr – is no mean feat. Coming on like an unruly roller derby team popping open the beers after tearing some serious fishnet, Those Darlins make chugging, frugging lo-fi shots of on-point, ‘Nuggets’-flavoured garage pop clatter called things like ‘Fatty Needs A Fix’ and ‘Bumd’ while squawking lines like “[i]I just wanna be your brother/You just wanna stick it in[/i]” (‘Be Your Bro’). ‘Screws Get Loose’ is best listened to live in a mucky kitchen at your mate’s cool older sister’s amazing house party.[i]Leonie Cooper[/i] .
So many bands have tried and failed to emulate The Ramones in at least one aspect of their persona. Whether it be the machine gun dynamic of their short, razor sharp pop songs or the matching clothes and hairdos, Joey, Johnny, Marky and Dee Dee's influence is everlasting. In the case of Tennessee based quartet Those Darlins, it's the collective surname that provides the link.
Despite the title, Screws Get Loose, is wonderfully tight and Those Darlins' latest succeeds with catchy, country tinged rock-and-roll with a healthy dose of humor. Those Darlins' sound is refreshingly difficult to place. There are undeniable hints of country from their Tennessee roots, though decidedly less than on their 2008 self-titled debut. Lead singer Jessi Darlin seems to have toned down the drawl, but enough remains to color the vocals.
Tennessee quartet Those Darlins started out as a trio-- three young women named Jessi, Kelley, and Nikki (who've all assumed the stage surname Darlin) on guitar, bass, and ukelele-- doing old-timey country music covers with clog-dancing percussion. Eventually they started writing their own songs and found an actual drummer for a self-titled 2009 debut-- a kitschy but pretty terrific album of ramshackle country and rock'n'noll suffused with punk energy and a healthy dose of "Hee Haw" humor. They sang about being proud white trash, getting drunk in the early afternoon, trying to avoid DUIs, and coming home at night soused and hungry enough to eat an entire chicken.
2009’s self-titled debut from Those Darlins was something special: a record that could have only come from Tennessee (Murfreesboro, to be exact), a merging of honky tonk and punk from a group of girls who like to sing about drinking whiskey and eating fried chicken instead of the heartache apparent in so many other “girl groups. ” While Screws Get Loose loses some of the punk edge (instead lightly delving into that Spectory well that’s getting drawn from so often these days), it has enough bravado left over to set it apart from the pack. While drummer Linwood Regensburg, Jessi, Nikki, and Kelley Darlin may sound a bit sweeter (which is a shame at moments), they’ve still got the same endearingly aggressive personality.