Darwin & The Finches – Lover
Darwin & The Finches sure does sound like the Who, The Jam, Kasabian, and similarly well-dressed musical groups. One of the things that all those bands had in common, was the enthusiasm with which the press greeted their first albums, and the enthusiasm those groups fed back to the press and public.
Well, enthusiasm has a habit of transforming to wisdom and then to bitterness and disappointment. This is the story arc for many an a-promising rock band. Darwin & The Finches, sound like those groups aka rock classics, but not like they would in their first incarnation. Rather, they resemble a less naive version of those groups. In this iteration, the band members are worried about parking Rolls Royce limousines into their swimming pools, rather than dressing up the drudgery of life into brighter colours.
“Maturity“, whenever uttered by rock stars in interviews, tends to be a code word for “boredom“. This is not the case here. Darwin & The Finches sound like a group that has paid their dues and made it to the other side on cleverness and humour. And, as should be the case with all good Brit-pop groups, past and present, their songs still feature melodies higher than a killer wave.
Crossing i’s Dotting t’s – Drown
I have a theory shared, likely, by nobody else. I think that out of the modern rockers, the ones that spend the most time listening to pop radio must be the punk rockers. The smart ones, at least, that secretly, behind all the talk about integrity and representing punk rock values, crave a hit. Pop punk, after all, is the one genre (at least out of the ones taken seriously) that has no shame in plundering hooks, production values, grooves, etc. from pop radio.
Crossing i’s Dotting t’s is a one-man punk band of such ambition. We’ve talked about this project before on the website. We remain impressed by the songwriter’s earnest, unbashful desire, to get as many people as possible listening to his records. For that purpose, he loads his tracks with the biggest hooks and guitar sounds he can conceive.
This is not the voice of a modern pop artist, though. Drown is sung in a gruff tone reminiscent of someone that’s just swallowed the contents of half a bottle of vodka while falling off their skateboard. Rock’s not about perfection yet, thankfully. It’s mostly about connecting and acting charming while you screw up. For those things, we think this deserves its shot at the pop charts.