Sprung from the enormous wake of Velvet Underground idealism in the burgeoning nostalgia of the Los Angeles “Indie rock” scene, this latest movement toward a modern interpretation of drug-induced rock ‘n’ roll is nothing short of brilliance. Led by bands through the 1990s such as Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain, Acid Mother’s Temple and, of course, Anton Newcomb and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the newly self-proclaimed L.A. Spaceland vista is surely embryonic, but I smell an early bloomer.
From the sweltering nadir of such existentialism is Dangerbird Record’s highly anticipated self-titled debut LP from “Darker My Love.” With ex-members of The Distillers and Nerve Agents, DML has created an atmosphere enticing enough to run through the forest on a strong hallucinogenic, uncontrollably scratching and baying to the moon. It is truly start-to-finish calisthenics for every level of consciousness.
The music is a true representation of DML and the Californian roots from which its inspired. Andy Granelli, a one-time Distiller, mars his drums in very trouncing crashes, resembling the early morning tide pounding the shore. While at the same time, DML lifts the cock-crow miasma over the warm Pacific with haunting screams by guitar-players Tim Presley and Jared Everett. The soothing vocals pair quite agreeably and offer release to the somewhat turbulent batter of DML’s “psych-nosis.”
Whether it’s the gentle gush of “Post Mortem, Post Boredom,” or the raw power of “Summer Is Here,” this band’s aesthetics complement its blithe attitude. The intro track, cleverly named “Opening,” lifts the curtain for an introduction into the “soundscape” of the album. The songs further in intensity until the album appropriately concludes with an epic display of “thrash-ism” of Iggy-ish proportions.
Reminiscent of its forefathers fused with innumerable pedals and metals, “Darker My Love” has created a worldly interpretation of classic ideals with modern steels. The music is enticing and psychotic, yet toned enough that it effortlessly flourishes. “Darker My Love” has created such a dreamy, fragrant landscape with such maturity that even Tipper Gore would be proud.