Soaked in a melancholy which enthuse their hearts rather than casting them in darker oppressive shadows, the songs and sound of UK indie rock band The Darlingtons is an absorbing and magnetic wash of imagination and craft. The Taunton band has a presence and ability to reflect the darker shadows of ordinary life in a way which pulls no punches but still brings a breath of hope and consolatory comfort; most of all though it provides one pleasing and evocative encounter which plays like a new old friend and emotional co-conspirator.
With already their debut EP Decades Dance under their belt and the experience of having a label ‘behind’ them, the foursome of Kiran Roy, Daniel Young, Alex Bispham, and Chris Holmes now forge their own furrow and fight their own battles alone, and earning plenty of acclaim for their live performances and now their second EP through it. Who says there’s no beach on Doncaster? Is a collection of six live tracks bringing the band’s stage potency directly into the ears of the listener. It is a raw and unafraid to show warts and all encounter which declares the quality of songwriting and sound of The Darlingtons with unrestrained ease, and probably with such intensity to the emotive strength of the quartet, does so far better than any studio release might be able.
Opening song Bats is an immediate attention grabbing proposition, rhythms a bold enticement around which the guitars float and flame with melodic enterprise. Everything takes a step back soon after arriving, apart from the continuing to jab rhythms and moody bass, to allow the excellent vocals to begin their narrative. It is compelling stuff which only intensifies as the guitars return their sonic embracing and vocal harmonies skirt the emotive vocal delivery. Though arguably not as tender in its touch, there is a feel of the House Of Love to the song which seduces as successfully as the every punchy rhythmic frame. It is a mesmeric lure and already a powerful declaration of the band in songwriting and live performance.
The following Ship At Sea has turmoil in its presence from the first note, keys offering an unsettled emotive suggestiveness whilst the drums prowl the song as if expecting dark clouds and trouble ahead. The rhythmic aspect of the band is a scintillating temptation throughout the release, constantly offering immense and dramatic textures and cages which thrust the song to the heart of imagination and emotions within its recipients. Within the song the still impressive vocals find themselves a little overrun by the intensity and rhythmic intent but not enough to defuse their effect and reflective potency whilst the guitars and bass conjure individual entrapments for the senses which are as irresistibly toxic as they are mouth-wateringly enterprising, especially the twang lilted bait laid down in the latter part of the riveting track. With a slight resemblance to Prince Edward Island and evocatively Scottish band Letters, the track leaves a lingering breath-taking impact in its wake.
Both Don’t Give Me Hope and For Some Else In Time keep the band’s hold on the passions secure, the first an insightful beckoning lyrically and musically around again rolling hypnotic rhythms which slowly builds its atmosphere and intensity into a climactic finale which never quite reaches the full blaze its hints at but certainly has the air smouldering brightly. Its successor equally burns with a resourceful but reserved suasion which leaves the appetite well catered for and want for more an open greed. Neither of the songs quite matches the might of the previous tracks but with elements which fully seduce and overall a presence that breeds satisfaction, the pair only enhances the experience of Who Says There’s No Beach In Doncaster?.
The opening to Everything is a surprising welcome, guitars prancing with a festive heart and dark bass romping within their eager caresses. It is not that the other tracks are manna to the pessimist but the shadows are noticeable by their absence at the start of the song and when it sparks its rhythmic and guitar spawned explosive fuel. The track then does step into that melancholic shade again which initially disappoints but only until the song merges both extremes into a vibrant and magnetic dance of sound and emotional expulsion. Though the song also falls just behind the outstanding start to the EP it provides another varied and flavoursome treat, rhythms and guitar strokes addictive, keys and vocals alluring.,
Watch Yourself brings the release to a close in fine style, the song an infection loaded slice of indie pop with a heavy emotional body which a virulently anthemic chorus. It completes in Who Says There’s No Beach In Doncaster? an exciting and robust encounter from a band we are going to hear a lot of in coming years you suspect and one definitely that should be seen on stage.
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