On the band’s new album, called ZOO, all that wild, raunchy, and raucous energy of a Darts live gig is packed into fourteen tracks. The band’s greasy rock sound is on full display throughout the record, as songs like “No Discretion,” “I Faked My Death,” and “No Tongue” tell dirty and sexy tales of love and debauchery. Slower, dirty rock grooves are balanced with hardcore driving punk tunes that make for a wild ride.
The Darts also mix rock and punk with elements of blues and surf-rock, but keep a consistent sound across each track with thick and fuzzy guitar chords and punchy, present, and crunchy bass tones. The gritty, often shouted vocals rise out of the din, just as the bright cymbals ring out above the driving drums. The vocals are also doubled at times by the distorted guitar, which pushes the lyrics along and lends even more power and weight to the simple shout choruses that are built for live shows.
Among the standout tracks on ZOO is “Bad Lieutenant,” a fuzzy rocker that settles in to a groove that’ll have your head nodding. The effected and dirty vocals that sit atop a great guitar riff tell of a rough and tumble detective who can’t stay out of trouble, and the chorus is surprisingly catchy. Featuring another catchy title, “White Russian Abortion” is a full throttle punk song that has everything a good punk song should: speedy drums, driving guitars, and loud, simple lyrics that would make your mother uncomfortable. With its stilted groove and smutty love story, “Susanne” is a final standout that fits perfectly in the centre of this set of dirty Darts tunes.
ZOO is a fun, loud rock record that rocks hard, yet slows down and lets up in the right places to let you catch your breath. The record is consistent with its fuzzy guitar riffs and punchy bass lines, and flows well, as upbeat and hardcore songs balance with the more laid back tunes. However, the album does feel a bit long and the textures and tones of the tunes are limited, making for a similar palette of sounds across all fourteen songs. Despite this, ZOO is a solid and well put together rock record that is certainly music to party to and music to piss off your neighbours with. The Darts are always a party, and this record is worth a listen for its energy and guts.
The Darts’ new record ZOO is available online at thedarts.bandcamp.com, and keep your eyes and ears open for live shows coming up in St. John’s in the future.
Article by Lukas Wall