Louder Than Morrissey (End)
by Scott Hefflon
Darlington‘s 1998 debut full-length, Girltroversy, is still in my faves pile by my CD player. Like The Queers and Nerf Herder and other simple “jokey” powerpop/punkpop, sometimes the tunes hit and sometimes they flop badly. Darlington has also suffered from kinda flat production cuz they just don’t have the funding to get the bright production Fat bands are famous for. But for dippy, boppy music with sweet’n’inane lyrics, you just can’t beat Darlington. While the McFly-inspired “(I Wanna Be Your) Density” doesn’t match “(Will You Be My) Judy Jetson,” like Nerf Herder’s “Courtney Love” didn’t compare to their classic “Van Halen,” it’s far better than the emopunk drivel dedicating their insipid songs to Wynona Ryder and, I dunno, some ditz from Dawson’s Creek or something. (Admittedly, I like Travolta’s “Liv Tyler,” but not as much as the chest-swelling “Pacific Coast Highway” off Teenbeat, but I’m stretching the comparison now.)
Boris the Sprinkler gets thanks in the credits, and that’s a good reference as well, as are Teen Idols and Screeching Weasel, and maybe a cuter version of Nobodys, one in which the singer sings more than sneers and doesn’t talk about porn and how everyone can fuck off all the time. There’s a song called “Joe Queer Sucks,” continuing the fine tradition of The Queers’ “Ben Weasel (You’re an Asshole),” and songs like “Bowling Betty,” “Boobs, Boobs, Boobs,” “Peachy Keen,” “Dorkin’ Around,” “Superspazz,” and a pretty awful cover of “Xanadu” to keep your head bobbing (and reaching for the lyric sheet to find out “did he really say that?”). Get this band some good production and opening slots on a couple Vandals/Guttermouth/Queers tours and punkpoppers with a taste for the sweet’n’goofy will discover what a lucky few of us know, this stuff is great!
(PO Box 101013 Fort Worth, TX 76185)