ALBUM REVIEW: Those Darlins ‘Screws Get Loose’

The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown, once said, “This is a man’s world.”

Now, I’m not here to break down the roles of gender in society. Opening that can of worms is something I’d like to avoid and simply stick to a subject I’m somewhat knowledgeable about, and that’s music.

In the world of music, sex holds little currency, in my opinion. The same goes with race. Real recognizes real. B.B. King once said, “I’ve said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.”

I was in Nashville. Tenn., this past weekend hanging out with two of my good buddies. When I’m in this city, I feel like a junkie who is looking for a fix. During this visit, I found a dealer who fed my addiction like Paula Dean would a ravenous sumo wrestler.

It was that damn good.

Grimey’s, historic and legendary home of new and preloved music, has a selection of music that is as eclectic as it is classy. If I had a million bucks, I would have spent it all. Instead, I spent two hours browsing through the store listening to countless samples on vinyl and CD, and spending an undisclosed amount of De Niro. My wallet still feels like Mike Tyson worked it out, but it was worth it.

While checking out, I asked the cat behind the counter if he would recommend a local band. He handed me three CDs. Out of the choices, the one I thought would most likely find its way back into a sea of discs instead found its way into my to-go bag: Those Darlin’s Screws Get Loose

I’m sure glad it did. So, a special thanks to the folks at Grimey’s.

THE REVIEW

Call ‘em a girl band. Call ‘em a girl band plus one dude. Call ‘em whatever you want, as long as the word badass follows whatever superficial label you tag this band with.

Being able to listen to an entire album continuously is a rarity these days. Refreshingly, you’ll find that isn’t the case here.

Coming out of the gate, the first track “Screws Get Loose” sets the tone for the album, which is an assortment of upbeat, Punk-Rock meets Country Western tunes. It felt as though my ears had ingested a large dose of cocaine and whiskey (a feeling described by Johnny Cash, not me), giving them a comfortable and relaxed, uneasy and energetic ride, which was thoroughly enjoyed.

The lyrics throughout the album, including the first track, were on-point. A fair share were sexually charged, but written in a seemingly genuine way, compared to the in-your-face style that seems to be popular today. A prime example being the chorus for the second track, “Be Your Bro.” “I just wanna, I just wanna be your brother, you just wanna be my boyfriend. I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you, you just wanna stick it in.”

Couldn’t help but smile while listening to this one. Classic bros.

Picking a highlight track from this album was about as easy as picking a needle from a haystack. Naturally, when faced with this predicament, I went with the one I vibed with the best. However, there really isn’t a bad song on the album. The superb track arrangement also made choosing difficult. It’s nice when a track list isn’t predictable.

Looking back on the album, there may be some question as to why it wasn’t awarded a solid 10. The explanation can be attributed to the echo effects on some vocal tracks, mainly the “Hives.” The effect seemed to drown out the vocals a bit to much, making it hard to hear and understand the lyrics.

Obviously, the good outweighs the bad by a landslide. In fact, I don’t even think the vocals are that big of a deal. I was probably just being picky and trying to be critic, so I’m going to give these Darlins a 10 now, but still stick by my guns for the sake of not giving away a perfect 10 on the scoreboard just yet.

For those who are opposed to female dominant bands, get a life. And while you’re at it, don’t preface a band with a sex. Give them the respect of being simply a band, just like you would any other group with testicles.

Can’t wait to hear more from this band, and look forward to getting some more suggestions from the bomb staff of Grimey’s.

This article was originally published on Fishbowlrecords.net on June 27, 2011.